Louise Labé, (c. 1524, Lyons – 25 April 1566, Parcieux), a French Renaissance poet, was also identified as La Belle Cordière (The Beautiful Ropemaker) because she was the daughter of wealthy ropemaker Pierre Charly and his second wife, Etiennette Roybet. Labé’s Œuvres include two prose works: a feminist preface urging women to write, dedicated to a young noblewoman of Lyons, Clémence de Bourges; and a dramatic allegory in prose entitled Débat de Folie et d’Amour, which belongs to a long debate tradition that had recently seen renewed interest due to Erasmus’ Praise of Folly, a controversial satire. The Débat, her most admired work in the sixteenth century, was used as the source for one of Jean de la Fontaine’s fables, and was translated into English by Robert Greene in 1584.
Labé, Louise. Complete Poetry and Prose: A Bilingual Edition. Translated by Deborah Lesko Baker and Annie Finch. University of Chicago Press, 2006.