Like the exuberant storytellers of Boccaccio's Decameron and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, the ten men and women who narrate the tales of The Heptameron offer captivating glimpses of a vanished world. They have taken refuge in a Pyrenean abbey, where they pass their time in a storytelling battle of the sexes. Ranging from highly romantic to downright bawdy, and from deeply spiritual to profane, these tales form a vivid portrait of life and attitudes during the transition from medieval to modern times in sixteenth century France.These tales reputedly originated at the royal court of France and are attributed to Marguerite de Navarre, the learned sister of Francis I. Several of the characters attest to the truth of their stories, and indeed, many of the incidents they describe were verified by latter-day scholarship. Real or imagined, the gripping tales of The Heptameron—brimming with murder, adultery, remorse, and revenge—continue to enthrall readers in the twenty-first century.