1431 - 1474
Francois Villon, born in Paris, was the first creative, modern French poet who composed many ballades and chansons. His work is remarkable for its rare inspiration and sincerity.
As a student he had to flee after killing a priest in a street brawl (1455). He joined a criminal organization, the 'Brotherhood of the Coquille', and wrote some of his ballades in its secret jargon. Pardoned in 1456, he returned to Paris and there wrote 'Le Lais' (The Legacy), followed by his long poetic work 'Le Grand Testament'.
Villon also led a life of excess, spending much time in prison and in 1463 he narrowly escaped the gallows. He left Paris, and nothing further is known of him.
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