François Villon

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François Villon (1431 – c. 1463) was born François Montcorbier. A promising graduate of the University of Paris, adept in law and the classics, he fled to the countryside in 1455 after killing a priest in a brawl. For the rest of his life he was a violent vagabond, a thief, and arguably the finest lyric poet in French literature. Between imprisonments, in extreme poverty, he produced volumes of poems, including The Testament. When his death sentence in Paris was commuted to a ten-year banishment, he left the city and was never heard from again.