Louise LabéLouise Labé
French Poet
1525 – 1566 A.C.

Louise Charlin Perrin Labé, a French poet, born at Lyons, daughter of a rich ropemaker, named Charlin. At the siege of Perpignan she is said to have fought on horseback in the ranks of the Dauphin, afterwards Henry II. After her marriage in 1550 to Ennemond Perrin, like her father, a ropemaker, she formed a library and gathered round her society which included many of the learned men and women of her day.

About this time she met the poet Olivier de Magny, who was passing through Lyons on his way to Italy. As the friend of Ronsard, “Prince of Poets,” he met with an enthusiastic reception from Louise, who straightway fell in love with him. There seems little doubt that her passion for Magny inspired her eager, sincere verse, and the elegies probably express their grief at his first absence. His influence is shown in her Sonnets, which printed in 1555, quickly attained great popularity. During Magny’s long absence, Louise, despairing of his return, encouraged another admirer, Claude Rubys, but Magny’s jealousy found vent in an ode which ruined her reputation, while Rubys avenged himself in his “True History of Lyons.”

This scandal struck a fatal blow at her position, and she retired to her country house, where she died soon after, leaving her fortune to the poor.

She was called La belle Cordiere (the Beautiful ropemaker) and was the most celebrated of the sixteenth century French women poets.


Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.

Quote by Louise Labé