François de Moncorbier known as Villon (born in 1431 or 1432 with Paris, disappeared in 1463) is a Poète French of the end of the Moyen-âge. He is probably the French author most known of this period. The romantic made the precursor of the cursed poets of it.


The only contemporary sources which we have concerning Villon are, in addition to its own literary writings, six administrative documents relative to its lawsuits. Thus, it is carefully necessary to separate the facts established with a quasi-certainty from the “Villon legend” to which it has itself largely contributed while being put in scene in its works.



Born in 1431 or 1432, therefore under the English, orphan occupation of father, it is entrusted for a still unknown reason to its “more than father”, Guillaume de Villon, Chanoine and Chapelain of Saint-Benoit-the-Bétourné, which sends it to make studies with the Faculté of Arts of Paris so that it reaches the privileged statute of Clerc. In 1452, it obtains the Maîtrise are arts with the Université of Paris which is agitated at that time where the graduates, too many, live for certain in misery and turn badly. Of 1451 with 1453, the student's uproars multiply. There are clashes with the police force, the whole on bottom of quarrel between the university and the king Charles VII of France which goes until the pure suppression and simple of the courses of 1453 to 1454 - suppression caused by a long strike of the professors. Villon then neglects the study to go to run the adventure. He reports later with regret this time in his Testament :

But quoy! I fuyoië the escolle Like makes the mauvaiz child By escripvant this word has little that the cuor do not fent me!

As from this time, its life has as a backdrop the shortly after the Guerre of One hundred Years and its procession of brutalities, famines and epidemics.

The first works and first misdeeds

In 1455, it is implied in a brawl and mortally wounds with the armpit the priest Philippe Sermoise, perhaps a rival in love or another deposed clerk. Wounded itself with the lips by its attacker, Villon is made look after in a barber then is obliged to flee Paris. Thanks to its statute of clerk, with his former control considered irreproachable and the forgiveness which Sermoise grants to him on its bed of death, it obtains letters of remission in January 1456. The Christmas Eve of this same year, it takes part in a burglary with the Collège of Navarre.

Villon must then again flee Paris, become all the more inhospitable as Guy Tabarie, a too talkative accomplice, is taken in 1458 and acknowledges under torture burgling by formally blaming it. Before its escape, Villon composes Alluvium in the first months of 1457 like gift of good-bye to his/her comrades and announces his intention there to join Angers, by putting however its departure on the account of a despair in love, which would make him run of many “dangers”:

to obviate these dangers My mieulx is, this croy, to separate. Good-bye! I see myself some in Angers.
This departure is confirmed with the police force by Guy Tabarie who specifies that Villon projects another larceny “at one his uncle who was monk”. One then loses his trace and one is undoubtedly unaware of even if he arrives to Angers, but continues he his peregrinations in the valley of the the Loire.

At the court of Charles of Orleans

One finds it with Blois, perhaps as of December 1457, at the court of Charles of Orleans, prince-poet and later father of the future Louis XII. In the manuscript where Charles compiles his own poetries and those of his courtiers, are three signed poems of Villon - most probably autographs. Longest of them the birth of Marie of Orleans the December 19th 1457 celebrates, girl of Charles and Marie de Clèves (the Épître in Marie of Orleans who contains the Double ballade ). This manuscript includes/understands moreover the Ballade of contradictions , known as also of the contest of Blois because it is the third of a series of ten ballades composed by various authors and who all open on it worms of Charles of Orleans: “I die of thirst in couste the fountain”.

Lastly, the last contribution of Villon to the manuscript of Charles of Orleans is the free-Latin Ballade , inserted into the right in the middle of the contest , just after the Ballade of contradictions . It echoes two bilingual poem of the manuscript, dialogs between Charles himself and Fredet, one of its favorites. The free-Latin Ballade is, like showed it Gert Pinkernell, an attack regulates some against Fredet. Villon is in return reprimand by Charles and one of his pages which, without naming it, show it lie and of ambitiousness in two ballades. It leaves the court of Blois most probably shortly after this episode.

In October - November 1458 it in vain tries to renew contact with its old and transitory patron, benefitting from his arrival with Vendôme to attend the lawsuit for treason of his/her son-in-law Jean II of Alençon. It then forwards to Charles the Ballade of the proverbs and the Ballade of small talk , but is not received any more at the court.

Forfeiture with the legend

One finds it imprisoned for still obscure reasons during the summer 1461 in “the hard prison of Mehun” (Meung-sur-Loire), where it most probably composes the Épître with his friends and the Débat of the cuer and the body of Villon . It is released a few months later at the time of a visit of Louis XI in company of Charles of Orleans in this city, but meanwhile, it was deposed of its statute of clerk. It then composes the Ballade against the enemies of France with an aim of drawing the attention of the king, as well as the Requeste with the prince directed not to the place of Jean II of Bourbon (as one believed a long time, error induced by the subtitle added by Clément Marot: “With monseigneur de Bourbon”), but more probably with that of Charles of Orleans. As both reject its request, it decides to join Paris, estimating that its exile lasted enough.

Perhaps of return to Paris, it writes the Ballade of good council , which must show it like amended delinquent, and then the Ballade of Fortune , which seems to express its disappointment growing towards the world of the right-thinking people which hesitates to reinstate it.

It is apparently by replongeant in the Parisian hollows that, fine 1461, it begins its main work, the Will (whose certain ballades are undoubtedly former). It is at least what the first lets think towards poem, “In the year of my trentïesme aage”. At the same time (during the year 1462), it would have composed its ballades known as in jargon .

Villon is again stopped on November 2nd 1462 for a small larceny. It is then caught up with by the business of the college of Navarre. It obtains freedom in exchange of its promise to refund its share of spoils, that is to say 120 pounds, summons considerable. This period of freedom is of short duration, because at the end of the same month it is implied in a brawl during which is wounded Maître Ferrebouc, pontifical notary having taken part in the interrogation of Guy Tabarie. It seems that it is his/her companion Robin Dogis who caused the clerks of the study, while Villon tried to keep away. It is nevertheless stopped the following day and is imprisoned in Châtelet. This time, it cannot escape justice any more: dislocated of its statute of clerk, that which became one accustomed of the courts is tortured then condemned to the bracket by prévôté which intends well to get rid of this recidivist.

Waiting in its jail the decision of the Parliament of Paris, to which it appealed, it undoubtedly composes the Quatrain and the Ballade of hung the , poems until nothing makes it possible to surely locate but that one always went back to this moment dominated more by the fear by the hope.

But Villon has chance: the January 5th 1463, the sorrow is commuted to ten years of banishment of the city. It writes then the ballade mocker Question with the clerk of the counter as well as the grandiloquent poem (with the parodic inflections) Louange at the court , its last known text, in which it asks for a deferment of three days “For moy to provide and to the miens for God to say”. One loses his trace after this last episode and it goes freely to the meeting of its legend.

The Villon legend

In addition to these some verifiable facts, the remainder of the life of Villon is the fruit of more or less happy conjectures based on its works - that it is necessary however to be kept of reading like an autobiography, as well it true as he undoubtedly enjolivé or on the contrary is blackened the feature for poetic or “strategic” reasons who would have pushed it to pass the evening to write this work. Awaked at nine hours by a bell, it would have made a prayer and, cold ink and with court of candle and fire, would have fallen asleep exhausted. Practical alibi!

One does not know the reason of his imprisonment in Meung-sur-Loire. A current assumption, but which, for lack of verifiable evidence, is not proven, is that emitted by André Burger. Villon would have, after having left the court of Blois, fact part of a troop of jugglers, activity prohibited to the clerks. It would have been stopped and degraded (dislocated of its statute of clerk) for that by Thibault d' Aussigny, bishop of Orleans. However, the degradation, which is a very hard blow carried with Villon, is normally pronounceable only by the ecclesiastical authorities which named the clerk, in fact the bishop of Paris. That would explain why Villon shouts with the injustice in the first stanza of the Testament , where he says in connection with Thibault d' Aussigny:

esvesque it is signing the streets Qu' it is mine I it regny!

Burger is also based on a reading with the first degree of the Épître to his/her friends , probably made up in prison and where Villon calls with its help of the “Danceurs, saulteurs, making piez of calves”. Pinkernell, for its part, rather sees a kind of camouflage in this call. Regarding the ballade as actually addressed to Thibault d' Aussigny and Charles of Orleans, who only could release Villon, he believes that this last makes only pretense belong to the world of the jugglers, wanting to mask his membership, well differently criminal, with a group of shadies, even with the Coquille. Always it is that Villon had to lose its rank of clerk during this period of wandering between Blois and its return to Paris.

“Coquillards, you of the montjoye rebecquez”

Translation: “Coquillards, you hold with the variation of the gibet”.

One of the mysteries which surround the character of François Villon is thus the question of its membership of the Shell, Maffia of brigands which prevails in the north of France during years 40,50 and 60 of the 15th century. It is certain that it attended notorious Coquillard S such Regnier de Montigny, a friend of childhood perhaps met with Saint-Benoît, the parish of his adoptive father, where two canons at least carry this patronym, and Colin of Cayeux, wire of metal worker become famous crochetor and who took part in the burgling of the college of Navarre. Both finished with the Gibet de Montfaucon. Moreover, the fact that one does not know anything of his years of wandering between his passage to Blois and its enfermement in Meung nor after his final banishment Paris lets imagine destinies increasingly more adventurous. Lastly, Villon wrote, probably after the Testament , at least eleven Ballade S known as " in jargon" , where he speaks with the coquillards in their slang and the role about an associate. If one does not have any formal evidence attesting of his membership, the affirmative is the most probable assumption, although historians and exégètes hesitate still nowadays, embarrassed by the idea of criminal Villon…

The direction of the ballades " in jargon" with him also be the object of many conjectures. The most recent interpretation is that of Thierry Martin, who makes jargon of Coquillards a homosexual slang.


Often evoked, the exact route of Villon apart from the places previously quoted (close Paris and villages, Blois, area of Vendôme and Meung-sur-Loire) remains to us completely unknown. However, it is often alleged that it passed in such or such city (more precisely all those which he quotes in his works is - and lists it is not exhaustive: Boulogne, Isle-in-Flandres, Douay), but Villon does not say nowhere that he visited itself these cities, and there does not exist any proof of its passage. Except for Angers, for which the doubt is allowed.


What excited, and still excites, more imaginations in the existence of Villon, it is its abrupt and total disappearance after its departure of Paris in 1463. Does it have joined the Shell? Did it “line up”, finding an employment honest, perhaps continuing to write? Did it sink in misery, being diluted in the mass of the gueux one? How long did he survive? A few months? Long years? All these questions remain until now outstanding, since after 1463 one loses any trace, as well documentary as literary, of François Villon. This mystery strongly contributed to create the legend of Villon.


Villon as well did not renew the form of the Poésie of its time as the way of treating the poetic topics inherited the culture Médiéval E, as he knows perfectly, and that he animates his own personality. Thus, it catches on the wrong foot the ideal courteous, shift the allowed values by celebrating the gueux ones promised with the Gibet, yields readily to burlesque description or the lewd joke, and multiplies the innovations of language. But the close relationship that Villon establishes between the events of its life and its poetry also brings it to leave sadness and the regret to dominate its worms. the Will (1461-1462), which seems its masterpiece, falls under the prolongation of the Lais which one calls the Small Will also sometimes , written in 1456. This long poem of 2023 towards is marked by the anguish of died and resorts, with a singular ambiguity, with a mixture of reflections over time, bitter derision, invectives and religious enthusiasm. This mixture of let us tons contributes to return the work of Villon of a pathetic sincerity which makes conspicuous it compared to that of its predecessors.

A poet of his time

Notwithstanding the universality of the concerns of Villon, it should be admitted that it initially wrote for its time. Sometimes its poems are addressed to gueux hollows of Paris, sometimes with the princes likely to take it under their protection.

From a formal point of view, it does not seem to innovate and begins again on its account, then adapts, of many already old literary kinds. It is however necessary to replace this remark in the historical context. The Middle Ages are, from a intellectual point of view, one period when the codes and the Symbolique are sometimes more important than the bottom of the matter. In literature, as in other arts, works must follow these stereotypes which belong to the common culture and make it possible to the reader to apply a grid of rather agreed reading.

With regard to the topics which it approaches, there still, Villon does not make watch of a great originality, far is necessary oneself some. Death, old age, the injustice, the impossible or disappointed love and even the pangs of the imprisonment are among the traditional subjects of the medieval Littérature.

Consequently, what differentiates Villon from its contemporaries?

A work inhabited by an exceptional life

Initially, if the tackled subjects are traditional, little authors lived them of also near and, without having always easy courses, the majority were rather quickly integrated in courses of


Alluvium is an early work (1457) made of forty huitains the octosyllabic ones, where one sees Villon, merry and sometimes schoolkid, to shell a succession of “gifts” or “legacy” more or less mild nutters, but always cruel and often funny, bound for its enemies. Its favorite targets are the authorities, the police force, the ecclesiastics nourished too well, the middle-class men, the usurers, all in all the eternal targets of the dispute coed and proletarian. It includes in this text several known literary kinds: within sight of the circumstances (the departure for Angers) and of the use of reasons for the Courtly love of the Trouvere S, it could be a leave , in the line line of the tradition arrageoise, where the gallant poet leaves his lady which too much made it suffer. However, it is here question of alluvium (“to leave”), of the gifts which make think of the literary wills, such that of Eustace Deschamps which parodied at the end of the 14th century any kind of legal documents. Lastly, in the last stanzas, Villon includes on its account the extremely used topic of the dream where the author tells an adventure which arrived to him in dream. leave , satirical will and ironic dream parodies: the Lais are all that successively.

Alluvium before is very intended for his/her friends and companions of vice and swarms with allusions and insinuations now indecipherable but which undoubtedly were to make much laugh his/her comrades. It however seems to have had a small success, because Villon made there several times reference in the Testament , complaining in a pleasant way that work circulates under the erroneous title of “will”:

Sy remembers, AD my advis, That I feiz with my partement Some laiz, the year fifty six, That aucuns, without my assent, Wanted to name “will”; Their pleasure was, not the myen. But quoy! one says commonly: “Ung chascun is not maistre of the scian. ”

the Will

the Will is a work much less homogeneous than Alluvium is . If it takes up the idea of parody of a legal document, it is in fact only one spinal column on which come to be grafted all kinds of digressions on the injustice, the escape of time, death, wisdom… as well as autonomous poems often presented like legacies. One however finds the sharp and sour feather and sometimes black and subtle humor, sometimes frankly joker and ribald who characterizes Villon. Perhaps the author wishes it to present here a broad spectrum of his talents in order to draw the attention of a possible patron, the Testament becoming a kind of calling card. The text is also addressed to his/her former companions, that is to say the crowd of cultivated paupers whom the Sorbonne produces at that time.

The Testament passes to be the masterpiece of Villon and one of the most beautiful literary texts of the late Middle Ages.

The Ballade of hung the

See also: Ballade of hung the

The ballade known as Ballade of hung the , sometimes improperly called Epitaph Villon , is the most known poem of François Villon, and one of the most famous poems of the French language. One agrees in general to think that this Ballade was composed by Villon whereas he was imprisoned following the Ferrebouc business, but the fact is not absolutely established. The first towards “human Brothers, who after us live”, preserves of this fact still today a strong capacity of evocation and emotion: the voice of hung imagined by Villon transcends the barrier of time and death.

Versification: study of the Quatrain

This small poem, undoubtedly written whereas, tired food and fatalist, Villon call did not yet interjeté and waits its execution by hanging, contains into four Octosyllabe S the quintessence of the art of Villon, its distress and its savage hatred of the escape of time and death, like its humor and its quickness of mind, always present.

First of all, here the Quatrain of which it is question, like its modern French transcription:

; Towards 1

the quatrain begin with a Word game on its first name, “François”, who also means “French”: this double direction is presented by Villon as a double blow dealt by fate. In a case, which weighs to him and overpowers it (“me poise”), it is quite simply to be itself, to have known this life of wandering and misery. He lived like a pauper, he prepares to die like tel. the other burden, it is his nationality. And due, Robin Daugis, however much more implied than him in the Ferrebouc business, profited as a Savoyard from a less expeditious justice. Besides he awaits in vain his lawsuit, until November when he is pardoned at the time of the arrival in Paris of the Duc of Savoy.

; Towards 2:

Inversion of the hierarchical order enters the cities: Pontoise which seems to take the step on Paris, is not randomly selected or for the Rime. This city is indeed famous for its punished language; contrast with the last one towards is only more pleasant… Jean Dufournet also notices that it depends for the businesses on justice on prévôté on Paris. Bitter conclusion: whatever the order of importance of the cities, Villon is taken with the trap and cannot escape from the provost and his decisions.

; Towards 3 and 4:

If they are explicit and does not contain apparently hidden direction, it are from the point of view of the admirable Versification. There is first of all the Allitération “my collar” and “my bottom” symmetrical compared to “that”. Then, one notices a Assonance with the Césure between “cord” and “collar”. The whole causes an acceleration of the rate/rhythm which involves us of the two first towards to the register punished and with the almost administrative contents (declining Villon its identity) with the two following which reveals the joke and uses an even slang popular speech (“the cord of a measuring apparatus” corresponding to the Gibet) to arrive in apotheosis at the vulgarity of the word “bottom” pushed back at the extreme limit of the quatrain.


Villon is printed for the first time in 1489, edition which is followed by several others. The quasi contemporary last edition is that which Clément Marot gave in 1533. At that time the legend villonienne is already well established. It grows blurred towards the end of the Renaissance, so that Boileau, which mentions Villon in its poetic Art , seems to know it only by hearsay. It is at the 18th century only that one starts to be interested again in the poet. He is redécouvert at the time romantic, where he acquires his statute of first “cursed poet”. Consequently, its notoriety does not weaken any more. It inspired in particular the poets of the German Expressionnisme and was translated in many languages (German, English, Russian, Esperanto, Spanish, Japanese, Czech, Hungarian,…), which conferred a world reputation to him, so much its concerns are universal and transcend the barriers of time and the cultures.

In literature

  • François Villon becomes the hero of the collection of the frank Repues , text which tells turns, often obscenes, played the notable ones by Villon and its companions, and which contributed to enrich the “Villon legend”.
  • François Rabelais makes of Villon a character with whole share of his novels Pantagruel and Gargantua , where it depicts it like an actor and imagines his life according to 1462.
  • If it is or hardly known the first Romantic ones, such Chateaubriant or Nodier, it inspired, as from approximately 1830, all the authors of this current. However, some asserted its influence particularly. It is in particular the case of Victor Hugo, Théophile Gautier, Theodore de Banville (which pasticha Villon while paying homage in the to him Ballade of Banville, with its Master ), and its continuation Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, of course Gerard de Nerval, Jean Richepin and his Chanson of the gueux , Marcel Schwob and much of others.
  • Robert Louis Stevenson made of François Villon the hero of one of his news (“lodging for the night has - has Story Francis Villon off”)
  • Francis Carco wrote a biographical novel of Villon: the Novel of François Villon , in 1926, and his/her friend Pierre Mac Orlan the scenario of a film of Andre Zwobada entitled François Villon (1945), in which the last days of the life of the poet are told, such as Mac Orlan imagined them.
  • Tristan Tzara wanted to see in the Testament an entirely founded work coded on Anagramme S.
  • Leo Perutz, in Judas of Léonard , took as a starting point François Villon for one of his characters, Mancino: that one did not die, but, amnesic, lives with Milan at the time of Léonard de Vinci.
  • John Shepard wrote a news entitled " The Testament" last; in Aztechs. The main character is struck there by the curse of Villon.
  • Jean Teulé is put in the skin of Villon in its novel I, François Villon whose film adaptation should leave to the autumn 2007.

With the theater

  • Bertolt Brecht was inspired some for its Opéra by quat' under ;

  • Its life inspired the part in four acts If I were King of Justin Huntly McCarthy created in 1901 with Broadway;
  • Wandering The King , musical comedy created in 1925 by Rudolf Friml. It may be that this work is inspired by one of the novels written on Villon in English language.

With the cinema

  • The Oubliette , of Charles Giblyn (1914), inspired by the life of Villon;

  • The Higher Law of Charles Giblyn (1914), continuation of the precedent;
  • Yew I were King , of J.  Gordon Edwards (1920), inspired by the part éponyme;
  • The beloved rogue , of John Barrymore (1927);
  • the king of the vagrants , Ludvig Shepherd (1930);
  • Yew I were King , of Frank Lloyd (1938);
  • François Villon , of Andre Zwoboda, scenario of Pierre Mac Orlan (1945).
  • If Paris to us were told of Sacha Guitry (1956), in which François Villon is interpreted by Pierre Vaneck;

In song and music

  • Georges Brassens is a large admiror of Villon and one impassioned of the late Middle Ages to which it refers in his song Moyenâgeux ( Pardonnez me Prince if I/Am foutrement moyenâgeux ). It also put in music the Ballade of the ladies of time formerly .

  • in 1997 the type-setter Arthur Oldham written the Will of Villon for soloists chorus and orchestra.

  • Léo Ferré carried out a setting in very original music of the Ballade of hung the , re-elected human Frères/the love does not have an age .

  • Renaud pays to him homage in his song My bar preferred ( By evoking Villon/Which grinds close to the bar and the bad lots )

  • Twisted the takes as a starting point the Ballade of good doctrines has those of loose living in its song the Large Arms by taking some again the refrain “All with the taverns and the girls”

  • Corvus Corax German group of medieval music, put in music its " ballade of Mercy" on the album Seikilos .


  • In 1887, Rodin carves Beautiful Heaulmière inspired by the character created by Villon.

“It of umaine is beaulté the yssue! The arms course and the hands contraites, Uneven espaulles all; Udders, quoy! all retirements; Such hips that heads. Sadinet, fy! As thighs, Thighs are not any more, but cuissetes, Grivelées like saulcisses.
Thus good time let us regretons Between us, povres hurdy-gurdies sotes, Sat low, with let us crouppetons, All in ung heap like balls, With small fire of chenevotes Tost lit, tost estaintes; And formerly fusmes if mignotes! … Thus emprent with hands and many. ” (Extracted from “the regrets Beautiful Heaulmière”, the Will )

Historical sources

None of these sources contains the integral of the poems now allotted to Villon. Moreover documents differ slightly on some towards, which obliged the editors since the first critical edition of Clément Marot with a long work of compilation, comparison and attribution of poetries still in the course of our days. Clément Marot wrote already, in the prolog of his edition of 1533: Between all the good printed books of the French language, he does not see so incorrect nor so heavily corrupted that of Villon. And amazed me, considering it is the best Parisian poet who is, how the printers of Paris and the children of the city ent did not have more large soin


  • Paris, National library, ms. france 25458, manuscript of Charles of Orleans, autograph (1458): Ballade of contradictions , free-Latin Ballade .

  • Paris, National library, ms. france 1661, after 1464: Incomplete version of the Alluvium .
  • Paris, National library, ms. france 20041, known as “Coislin manuscript” of the name of a former owner, after 1464: Incomplete versions of the Alluvium and the Will , four various poetries.
  • Paris, Library of the Arsenal, ms. france 3523, end of the 15th century: Incomplete versions of the Alluvium and the Will , the ballade of Fortune .
  • Berlin, National library, Cabinet of the Prints, ms. 78 B 17, known as “Chansonnier de Rohan”, towards 1475: three poems of the Will and two various poetries.
  • Stockholm, Royal Library, ms. V.u.22, known as “handwritten Fauchet” of the name of a former owner, after 1477: Incomplete versions of the Alluvium and the Will , six various poetries and five ballades in jargon .


  • François Villon, grant It will villon and the small one. Its codicil. The iargon and its ballades , Pierre Levet, Paris, 1489, supposed to be the princeps edition: Incomplete versions of the Alluvium and the Will , five various poetries and six ballades in jargon ;

  • Anthology, the Garden of Pleasure and Fleur of rethoricque , Antoine Vérard, Paris, 1501: Ballades of the Will and six various poetries.

Works and bibliography

Chronological list of works of Villon

This list wants to be exhaustive. However, it is regularly questioned, the attribution of such or such poem being disputed or a contrario it is seen sometimes enriched by “new” works… Nevertheless, it seems accepted in the state by the majority of the specialists in Villon.

Works here are presented and gone back according to the chronology established by Gert Pinkernell which seems most coherent, in particular since the passage to Villon with Vendôme was shown. Some are not dated precisely, and those included by Villon in the Testament are placed here after this last, even if they can be former. The titles are those retained in the complete Poésies , published and with accompanying notes by Claude Thiry with the Book of Pocket.

  • Ballade of against truths (1455? - 1456? , Paris)

  • Alluvium (1457, Paris)
  • Epistle in Marie of Orleans (at the beginning of 1458, Blois)
  • Double ballade (at the beginning of 1458, Blois)
  • Ballade of contradictions (at the beginning of 1458, Blois)
  • free-Latin Ballade (at the beginning of 1458, Blois)
  • Ballade of the proverbs (October-November 1458, Vendôme)
  • Ballade of small talk (October-November 1458, Vendôme)
  • Epistle with his/her friends (be 1461, Meung-sur-Loire)
  • Debate of the cuer and the body of Villon (be 1461, Meung-sur-Loire)
  • Ballade against the enemies of France (at the end of 1461, Meung-sur-Loire)
  • Requeste with the prince (at the end of 1461, Meung-sur-Loire)
  • the Will (1461). Y are also included:
    • Ballade of the ladies of time formerly
    • Ballade of the lords of time formerly
    • Ballade in old language François
    • the regrets of beautiful Heaulmiere
    • Ballade of Beautiful Heaulmière to the prostitutes
    • Double ballade on the mesme matter
    • Ballade to request Nostre Rams
    • Ballade with friendly
    • Lay or rondo
    • Ballade for Jean Cotart
    • Ballade for Robert d' Estouteville
    • Ballade of the ennuieuses languages
    • the Objections of Frank Gontier
    • Ballade of the women of Paris
    • Ballade of the Gross Margot
    • Beautiful lesson with the lost children
    • Ballade of good doctrines
    • Rondo or wagtail
    • Epitaph
    • Rondo
    • Ballade of conclusion
  • Ballade of good council (1462, Paris)
  • Ballade of Fortune (1462, Paris)
  • Ballades in jargon (1462, Paris)
  • Ballade of hung the (at the end of 1462, Paris)
  • Quatrain (at the end of 1462, Paris)
  • Praises at the court (January 1463, Paris)
  • Question with the clerk of the counter (January 1463, Paris)

Modern editions of Villon

Villon passes for a difficult author and this for several reasons. The barrier of the language first of all: average French is not easy to apprehend for the modern reader, at the same time on the syntactic and lexical level. However let us note that the grammatical rules started already to be stabilized at the 15th century gradually excluding the remainders more diverting Romance language, in particular the variations. Sometimes vis-a-vis this difficulty, the editors choose to make appear beside the original text a modern French transcription, sometimes to annotate the original text, this last solution being of the interest to force the reader to immerse itself in the rich and poetic language of Villon.

The second difficulty lies in the setting in context: characters and situations evoked being often unknown of the modern reader, the quality of the notes will be determining even if the specialists in Villon did not bore all its mysteries. One cannot, in the actual position of knowledge, that to be solved, and admit there that rare aspects of work still escape to us; these gaps do not prevent fortunately from appreciating the drolery and the inventiveness of the language of Villon.

The works having been used for the drafting of this article are noted by:

  • Jean Rychner and Albert Henry, the Will Villon , I, Text, II, Comment, Geneva, Droz, 1974; varied Alluvium villon and poems , I, Text, II, Comment, Geneva, Droz, 1977; Index of the words. Index of the proper names. Analytical index. , Geneva, Droz, 1985. The current edition of reference: it is pressed mainly on the Coislin manuscript.

  • complete Poetries , edition of Claude Thiry, 1991, the Book of Pocket, collection “Gothic Letters”, (ISBN 2253057029). This edition takes for base the Rychner-Henry edition, by integrating the contributions of Gert Pinkernell.
  • Ballades in jargon (including those of the ms of Stockholm) , edition of Andre Lanly, Paris, Champion, 1971.
  • Alluvium, Will, various Poetries , ED. bilingual and transl. Jean-Claude Mühlethaler followed by Ballades in jargon , ED. bilingual and transl. Eric Hicks, Champion, 2004


  • Andre Burger, complete Lexicon of the language of Villon , Droz, Geneva, 1974;

  • Pierre Champion, François Villon. Its life and its time , Champion, Paris, 1913 (réimpr. 1984).
  • Collective, published by Jean Dérens, Jean Dufournet and Mr. Freeman Villon yesterday and today. Acts of the Conference for the five-hundredth birthday of the impression of the Will of Villon , historical Library of the town of Paris, Paris, 1993;
  • Jean Dufournet:
    • Research on the Will of François Villon. , Paris, 1971-1973, 2 vol.
    • New research on Villon. , Paris, 1980.
  • Jean Favier, François Villon , Beech, Paris, 1982
  • Gert Pinkernell:
    • François Villon and Charles of Orleans, according to various Poetries of Villon , Universitätsverlag C. Winter, Heidelberg, 1992
    • François Villon: critical biography and other studies , Universitätsverlag C. Winter, Heidelberg, 2002;
  • Italo Siciliano, François Villon and poetic topics of the Middle Ages, Paris, Hake, 1934;
  • Jean Teulé, I, François Villon , Julliard, Paris, 2006, ISBN 2-260-01683-9.

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