Very little of Francois Villon (1431-c.1465) work survives, but it includes the Ballade des dames du temps jadis/Ballad of the ladies of former times, Petit Testament in 1456, and Grand Testament in 1461.
Born in Paris, he dropped his surname (Montcorbier or de Logos) to assume that of a canon - a relative who sent him to study at the Sorbonne.
In 1455 he stabbed a priest in a street fight and had to flee the city. Pardoned the next year, he returned to Paris, but was soon in flight again after robbing the College of Navarre, and was briefly at rest at the court of the duke of Orleans until sentenced to death for an unknown offence from which he was saved by the amnesty of a public holiday. Theft and public brawling continued to occupy his time, in addition to the production of the Grand Testament in 1461, but in 1463 a sentence of death in Paris, commuted to ten-year banishment, is the last that is known of his life.
Why is Francois Villon famous?
Francois Villon was a French poet, noted for his satiric humour, pathos, and lyric power in works which used the argot (slang) of the time.