Trinity Tomes 9 - Agrippa d'Aubigné's Les Tragiques

Old Member
25 October 2021 17:30-18:30

Join us to hear from Professor Valerie Worth, Fellow and Tutor for Graduates, about her translation of this epic poem.

Agrippa d’Aubigné’s remarkable epic poem, Les Tragiques, was composed in France in the 1570s, in the aftermath of the terrible Massacre of St Bartholomew, and it was first published in 1616.

It sets the recent sufferings of the Protestants in the French Wars of Religion within the overarching context of God’s eternal plan for his chosen faithful. Recording the bitter story of the defeated party, the poet movingly combines depictions of a devastated country, vivid tableaux of the worst atrocities of the Wars, and satirical attacks on leading political and religious figures such as Catherine de’ Medici and the Guise family.

As he narrates a story which he believes must not be forgotten, d`Aubigné develops an innovative French poetic style that deliberately challenges conventions. The complete work has never previously been translated into English. This translation of the entire text is accompanied by illustrations from the period, a full introduction and detailed critical notes, so that it can be read by students and researchers of comparative literature, history and theology as well as specialists of French.

A recording of the session is available on the college YouTube channel - please click here


Valerie Worth

As Senior Tutor since October 2009 Valerie has been responsible for the strategic planning of the college’s academic activities, overseeing the appointments of academics, the admission of undergraduates and graduates, and the academic progress of students once they are on course.

She will be stepping down from this role in Michaelmas Term 2021, but will continue as Fellow and Tutor for Graduates alongside her successor as Senior Tutor, Rebecca Bullard. Some Old Members may remember Valerie as a lecturer in French at Trinity from 1984-1989 while Frank Barnett was the Tutorial Fellow in French and Clive Griffin in Spanish.

Valerie’s main areas of research include: humanism and translation in Renaissance France; medicine in Early Modern Europe; Renaissance French poetry; seventeenth-century French theatre; and the contemporary French language.