margueriteMarguerite de Navarre (1492-1549 AD)
Marguerite of Navarre received a thorough humanist education as a young girl: she spoke multiple languages; she was well acquainted with the philosophy of her day; and she was conversant in history and theology.

Marguerite of Navarre married the Duke of Alencon in 1509 when she was 17 years old and he was 20. Marguerite patronized scholars and explored the possibilities for religious reform.

In 1527, Marguerite married Henry d'Albret, King of Navarre, ten years younger than she. Under her influence, Henry initiated legal and economic reforms, and the court became a safe place for people who were religious-reform minded. Marguerite established a salon, known as "The New Parnassas," gathered influential scholars and others.

Marguerite of Navarre was a writer in her own right. Her work reflected her religious non-orthodoxy, as she was influenced by humanism and believed in a more personal relationship and experience of God.

Marguerite of Navarre took charge of the education of her daughter, Jeanne d'Albret, who became a Huguenot leader and whose son became France's King Henry IV (otherwise known as Henry of Navarre). Marguerite did not go so far as to become a Calvinist, and was estranged from her daughter Jeanne over religion.