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Pierre de Ronsard 1524 - 1585

Ronsard was born in Couture-sur-Loir in the present Loire et Cher, the youngest son of Loys de Ronsard, maitre d'hôtel to the King, Francis I. At age nine, he attended the College de Navarre in Paris after which he was appointed page to the court and then to Madeleine de France upon her marriage to James V of Scotland. At her early death, however, he followed various diplomatic posts before serving Lazarre de Baïf, father of Antoine de Baïf, as secretary.

The onset of deafness, however, turned him to a life of study and poetry and to becoming one of the seven members of the Pléiade movement in which he excelled both in quantity and as a master of poetry. He achieved lasting success both as a poet and as a courtier favoured by royalty which, however, excited keen antagonism among his rivals. He wrote unceasingly and prolifically mainly of courtly love and in admiration of several ladies of distinction; and was regarded by many as the Prince of Poets.

His health deteriorated sharply in the years before his death whereupon his works quickly became eclipsed by the classical movement and were not published for two centuries before mid-19th century when his reputation was revived.