Charlotte Guillard

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Charlotte Guillard
A book printed by Guillard in 1541
Borncirca 1480s
Resting placeParis, France
Known forfirst woman printer of note
Spouse(s)1st husband,
Berthold Rembolt 1502
2nd husband,
Claude Chevallon 1520
Parent(s)Jacques Guillard
Guillemyne Saney

Charlotte Guillard (died 1557) was an early printer who directed the Soleil d'Or printing house in Paris.[1] Annie Parent described her as a "notability of the Rue Saint-Jacques", the street in the Latin Quarter where the shop was located.[2] Twice married and twice widowed, Guillard operated her own publishing imprint for theological books during her two periods of widowhood,[3] that is to say in 1519–20, and in 1537–57. While she was not the first woman printer, succeeding both Anna Rugerin of Augsburg (1484) and Anna Fabri of Stockholm (1496), she was the first woman printer with a significantly known career.


Early life[edit]

Guillard was very likely born in the late 1480s in Saint-Calais, France.[4] Her name is sometime spelled Guillart and in Latin books as Carola Guillard.[5] Living in the province of Maine in France, her parents were Jacques Guillard and Guillemyne Savary.[4] The professions of her parents are unknown, but her known relatives are mostly merchants or lawyers.[4]

First marriage[edit]

Guillard's first marriage was to the Alsatian printer Berthold Rembolt about 1507[4] (and not 1502 as it has wrongly been assumed[1]). Rembolt collaborated with Ulrich Gering, who had been a partner in the first printing press of France. Gering owned the Soleil d'Or, a printing house of considerable repute.[1][4] Together, Gering and Rembolt specialised in theological and legal texts.

Gering retired in 1508, and Rembolt died in 1518 or 1519. Thereupon, Guillard ran the Soleil d'Or on her own initiative until her second marriage.[1][6]

Second career[edit]

In 1520 Guillard married Claude Chevallon, a bookseller who also printed theological books. From this time forward, Guillard was known as "la Chevallonne". She was widowed a second time in 1537.[3] Thereafter, Guillard ran her printing business on her own.[2]

The publishing house was led by Guillard, with the help of her correctors: Jean Hucher (until 1538), Jacques Bogard (1538-1541), Louis Miré (1541-1552) and then Guillaume Guillard.[4] She helped her nephew Pierre Haultin to establish as a printer and a punchcutter.[7]

Her business was significant: she owned five or six printing presses with about 25-30 employees and published about 200 editions.[8] She catered to students, professional or religious clientele, often printed anti-Protestant books, and offered books in Latin as well as Greek.[3]

She remained active in the publishing trade until her death in 1557.[2]

More than 400 different libraries worldwide have books printed by Guillard.[2]

Selected works[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Beech, Beatrice (1983). "Charlotte Guillard, A Sixteenth Century Business Woman". Renaissance Quarterly. 36 (3): 345–367. doi:10.2307/2862159. JSTOR 2862159. S2CID 163711144.
  2. ^ a b c d "Charlotte Guillard dans la typographie parisienne". Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  3. ^ a b c Craig, Béatrice (2015). Women and Business Since 1500: Invisible Presences in Europe and North America?. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 59. ISBN 9781137033246.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Jimenes, Rémi (2017). Charlotte Guillard. Une femme imprimeur à la Renaissance. Tours: PUFR. ISBN 9782869065239.
  5. ^ "Guillard, Charlotte". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  6. ^ Vervliet, Hendrik D. L. (2008). The Palaeotypography of the French Renaissance. Brill. p. 170. ISBN 978-9-004-16982-1.
  7. ^ Jimenes, Rémi (March 2017). "Reconsidering Pierre Haultin's Early Career: Roots, Training, Beginnings (1546–1550)". The Library. 18 (1): 62–80. doi:10.1093/library/18.1.62. ISSN 0024-2160.
  8. ^ Jimenes, Rémi (2017), "Bibliographie de Charlotte Guillard", Charlotte Guillard, Presses universitaires François-Rabelais, pp. 251–283, doi:10.4000/books.pufr.10185, ISBN 9782869065239
  9. ^ Parisijs, Apud Carolam Guillard viduam Claudij Cheuallonij, in via Iacobæa sub sole aureo: & Guilielmum Merlin, in ponte Teloneorum sub signo hominis syluestris


  • Beatrice Beech, "Charlotte Guillard: a sixteenth-century business woman," in: Renaissance Quarterly; No. 36, 3 (Autumn 1983:345-367)
  • Rémi Jimenes, "Passeurs d'atelier . La transmission d'une librairie à Paris au XVIe siècle : le cas du Soleil d'Or", Gens du livre et gens de lettres à la Renaissance, Turnhout, Brepols, 2014, p. 309-322.
  • Rémi Jimenes, Charlotte Guillard. Une femme imprimeur de la Renaissance, Tours, PUFR, 2017.
  • Nelson, Naomi L., Lauren Reno, and Lisa Unger Baskin [eds.]. Five Hundred Years of Women's Work: The Lisa Unger Baskin Collection New York and Durham, NC: The Grolier Club and Duke University, 2019, forthcoming via Oak Knoll Books.