Little is known of Rabelais' early life. It is known, however, that Rabelais joined the Franciscans, but left some time around 1520 to join the Benedictine order. He subsequently left the monastary and travelled to various French provinces, studying medicine and took a degree from Montpelier and practised medicine for a number of years. His masterpiece, Gargantua and Pantagruel, was published as separate works over a number of years. Pantagruel first appeared in 1532, Gargantua in 1534, Tiers Livre in 1546 and Quart Livre in 1548. The whole work was finally published in 1552. A fifth book is thought to be at least the work of additional authors and the style is definitively altered. Rabelais was regarded in his time as an eminent physician, humanitarian and pioneer of enlightenment.
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Gargantua and Pantagruel
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