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JEAN MOLINET (1433-1507)

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Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 667 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JEAN MOLINET (1433-1507), French poet and chronicler, was born at Desvres (Pas de Calais). In 1475 he succeeded Georges Chastellain as historiographer of the house of Burgundy, and Margaret of Austria, governor of the Low Countries, made him her librarian. His continuation of Chastellain's chronicle, which covers the years from 1474 to 1504, remained unpublished until 1828 when it was edited (Paris, 5 vols.) by J. A. Buchon. It is far from possessing the historical value of his predecessor's work. A selection from his voluminous poetical works was published at Paris in 1531, Les Faictz et Dietz de feu . . . Jehan Molinet.... He also translated the Roman de la rose into prose (pr. Lyons, 1503). He became, in 1501, canon of the church of Notre-Dame at Valenciennes, where he died on the 23rd of August 1507. He is noteworthy as the head of the vicious Burgundian school of poetry known as the rhetoriqueurs, characterized by the excessive use of puns and of puerile metrical devices. His chief disciple was his nephew, Guillaume Cretin (d. 1525), ridiculed by Rabelais as Raminagrobis, and Jean Lemaire des Belges was his friend. See A. Wauters in the Biographie rationale de Belgique (vol. xv., 1899).
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