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Queen Marguerite de Navarre (April 11, 1491-December 21, 1549) was one of the most powerful women of her age, having helped to negotiate the Treaty of Cambrai, known as the Ladies' Peace. She was the wife of both Charles IV, duke of Alençon, and Henry II of Navarre, and the grandmother of King Henry IV of France.
Her masterpiece, The Heptameron, is a collection of some 72 stories told by five gentlemen and five ladies who find themselves stranded in an abbey. Proposed as an edifying way of passing the time while a bridge is being repaired, the tale-telling - as well as the conversations that follow each story - quickly becomes a battle of wits between the sexes, with tales concerning illicit lovers, romantic conquests, lecherous monks, manly honor (and their opposite), and women's virtue (and their opposite). The stories include intimate details of adultery, flattery, betrayal, rape, and war, and their candor may startle even 21st-century listeners.
This is a full-cast production, narrated by Cate Barratt and featuring the voices of Linda Barrans, John Burlinson, Mark Crowle-Groves, Denis Daly, Susan Iannucci, Grace Keller Scotch, Jeff Moon, Sara Morsey, Kendra Murray, and Graham Scott.
Audio edited by John Burlinson.