France is a French poet. She is thought to be one of the finest poets
of her century. Her actual birth date is not known, but it is known
that Marie lived in the 12th century. Marie de France was born in
Normandy, France. The exact city of her birth is not known, but the
area of Normandy is about 50 miles outside of Paris. Marie de France
later moved to England. Marie is supposed to be the half-sister of
King Henry II. Information about her parents is not known because
no one knows what her last name is. The little information known
about her name comes from the epilogue she put in her book of fables.
This stated, “Marie is my name, and I am from France”. This was put
in so that Marie could claim he own work.
Little information is reported from her childhood, and she never served in the military. She was very well educated. The only information about her occupation is that she was a writer. Many people associate Marie with the court of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine in England. She lived in the late 12th century because Henry II ruled England from 1154-1189. Marie de France is the first known women writer to write in French. Her English connections are suggested because of the Anglo-Norman spellings in her earliest manuscripts. Marie de France is known for having three different types of literature.
The first type of literature is her lais. She has written twelve short narrative tales. They are written in eight-syllable rhyming couplets. The lais range from 118-1184 lines in length. Another type of literature Marie is known for is fables. She has written 103 short fables with a prologue and epilogue. Half of the fables written by Marie are derived from Aesop’s fables. Sixty-three of the fables came originally from Marie herself. Most of Marie’s fables are about beasts. Only one-third of her fables include human characters. Marie de France’s fables tell a moral lesson. Her fables are meant to set examples.