François Rabelais

François Rabelais was born in 1483 or 1484. His father was a rich landowner and lawyer in charge of some government duties. Somewhere around 1500 Rabelais enrolled to university where he studied law.

In 1510 he joined the Franciscans in a convent named La Baumette. Ten years after he became a monk in the convent Fontenay-le-Comte.

In the mid 20’s of the 16th century, he had some troubles with the administration of the convent and the church authorities so he went to Maillezais, a Benedictine convent, where he worked for some time as the secretary of the bishop Geoffroy d’Estissac.

By the end of the century, he decided to leave the convent and he went to study medicine, in 1532 he published “Pantagruel” under a pseudonym but the novel was forbidden a year later due to explicit content.

He had two children and decided to dedicate himself to his career in medicine. He works in south France and later he went to Lyon. Soon after he moved to Rome where he started working as the secretary of the cardinal Du Bellay. He moved with him to Ferrara.

While he was there he wrote "Gargantua" and it’s unsure whether the novel was published in 1534 or a year later. He went to Rome again with the bishop Geoffroy as his friend and protector. He asked Pope’s permission to join the Benedictines again.

In 1537 he finished his studies and became a doctor in the university in Montpellier. After that, he had another child and did not publish anything for 11 years.

After the death of his protectors, his works were forbidden again but despite everything he published a third book that was a sequel for the previous two. He was under the protection of the French king and he didn’t use a pseudonym. The third book was also forbidden.

Rabelais then decided to join the German Protestants and go to Metz.

In 1548 he went back to Rome to cardinal Du Bellay and in the meantime, he published "The Fourth Book" in Lyon. Four years later the king allowed the publication of that work.

He died in Paris in 1933.

Books published postmortem: a sequel to "The Fourth Book" and "The Fifth Book".

Gargantua

The novel "Gargantua" looks as if it revolves around the life of the main character Gargantua. The author gives us an insight into the smallest details of his life such as his origins, birth, childhood, life in Paris and liberation of his homeland. The novel seems to be a chivalric romance that consists out of the main character’s life episodes but Rabelais doesn’t put the plot in the … [Read more...]

Pantagruel

The first few chapters are dedicated to getting to know the main character. His birth, childhood, teen years and moving to Paris are shown. The return to his country is marked by the liberation of the land that was under enemies reign. The author shows us events that concern the main character and at first sight the novel seems to be a biography novel but when we look closer we can … [Read more...]