Guillaume de Machaut is remembered today as the most prolific, and probably the greatest, poet-composer of fourteenth-century France. Sometimes considered as the last of the


, his large output of courtly poetry and music comprises: a lyric Prologue; fourteen


(i.e. long narrative and/or didactic poems, mostly on courtly love themes, sometimes with lyric insertions); the earliest known musical setting of the Mass by a single composer; the untexted musical

Hoquetus David

; a 64-line poem entitled “Vezci les biens que ma dame me fait” [Here are the good things my lady does for me]; twenty-five lays, nineteen of which are set to music; twenty-three motets; forty-two


set to music; twenty-two


set to music; thirty-three


(most set to music); one musical

4205 words

Citation: Maxwell, Kate. "Guillaume de Machaut". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 February 2008 [, accessed 29 February 2024.]

1910 Guillaume de Machaut 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.