Pierre de Ronsard was one of the great French poets of the 16th century, although he and his works suffered vicious attacks during his lifetime. The acknowledged chief of the 'Pléiade', and its most voluminous poet, he did not himself introduce the sonnet into France, but practised it soon after its introduction and with skill - the famous "Quand vous serez bien vieille" being one of the acknowledged gems of French literature. His work shows eminently the two great attractions of French 16th-century poetry as compared with that of the two following ages - magnificence of language and imagery together with graceful variety of metre.
Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) was a native of Touraine, and, after studying in Paris, began his adult life at the Scottish court of James V, before then travelling to Flanders on diplomatic missions. An attack of incurable deafness, however, put an end to this career, and he turned to studying in Paris. Here he met and became involved in the group known as the Pleiade, whose other founder members were du Bellay and de Baif. It was they who effectively launched the 'Renaissance' in French literature, breaking with earlier more heroic traditions of poetic style in an effort to ennoble the French language by imitating ancient Greek poets.
Our little book is in good condition for its age, protected by a relatively undamaged, but fairly grubby and browned, dust jacket (unclipped). The book itself is generally browned, and almost matches the colour of the textured paper cover, which is adorned with dark brown motifs on the front cover and spine, with the title also on the spine. Inside, the endpapers are both cracked at the hinge, but the binding is otherwise tight, and all pages are unmarked. The print is a little blurry in places. The book is one of a series produced by Librairie Grund between 1935 and 1957, and is thus collectible.