Francois de Malherbe (1555 – October 16, 1628) was a French poet, critic, and translator.
He was born in Le-Locheur (near Caen, Normandie), to a family of some position, though it seems not to have been able to establish to the satisfaction of heralds the claims which it made to nobility older than the 16th century.
He was the eldest son of another Francois de Malherbe, conseiller du roi in the magistracy of Caen. He himself was elaborately educated at Caen, at Paris, at Heidelberg and at Basel. At the age of twenty-one, preferring arms to the gown, he entered the household of Henri d'Angoulême, the illegitimate son of Henry II, governor of Provence. He served this prince as secretary in Provence, and married there in 1581. It seems that he wrote verses at this period, but, to judge from a quotation of Tallemant des Réaux, they must have been very bad ones. His patron died when Malherbe was on a visit in his native province, and for a time he had no particular employment, though by some servile verses he obtained a considerable gift of money from Henry III, whom he afterwards libelled. He lived partly in Provence and partly in Normandy for many years after this event; but very little is known of his life during this period. His Larmes de Saint Pierre, imitated from Luigi Tansillo, appeared in 1587...
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