Alain-René Le Sage

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Jean-François Marmontel

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Jean-François Marmontel

Jean-François Marmontel was born, in 1723, at Bort in the Limousin, and was educated in the Jesuits’ College at Mauriac. Being persuaded by Voltaire to try his fortune at Paris, he settled there in 1745, and by his tragedies of Dionysius, and Aristomenes, and other successful works, he soon gained reputation, fortune and court favour. Madame de Pompadour obtained for him the appointment of secretary to the royal buildings, and, subsequently, the management of the French Mercury. At a later period he became historiographer of France, and secretary of the Royal Academy. He survived the horrors of the revolution, and was elected to the Council of Ancients; but his election was annulled, and he again withdrew into retirement. He died December 31, 1799. Of his works, the principal are Moral Tales, his own Memoirs, the Incas, Belisarius and Elements of Literature. « Though not superior in any kind of composition, » says one of his countrymen, « he was an agreeable, pure and elegant writer. » Perhaps this faint praise hardly does justice to the merit of Marmontel.

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Alexandre Dumas

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Alexandre Dumas (the Elder)

A celebrated French romancist and dramatist, born at Villers-Cotterêts, 1802; died near Dieppe, 1870. A few of the great multitude of his famous romances are: The Count of Monte Cristo (1844), The Three Musketeers (1844), Twenty Years After (1845), The Knight of Maison-Rouge (1846), Viscount de Bragelonne (1847), Queen Margot (1847). Many of his stories were of great length, six to twelve volumes. Besides pure fiction he wrote a number of historical romances, as Joan of Arc (1842), Louis XIV and his Age (1847). His plays, which had extraordinary success, include: Henri III and his Court (1829), Antony (1831), Charles VII with his Grand Vassals (1831), Napoleon Bonaparte (1831), Mdlle. de Belle-Isle (1839), Marriage under Louis XV (1841), The Misses St.Cyr (1843). Nearly all his novels were put on the stage also. He wrote entertaining narratives of his travels in Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Spain, North Africa, Egypt, Syria, etc.

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Balzac

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Honoré de Balzac

The greatest of French novelists, born in Tours, 1799; died in Paris, 1850. He gave to his works the general title The Human Comedy, in which are embraced the sub-series Scenes of Private Life (27 stories and sketches, among them: Père Goriot, César Birotteau, Cousin Betty), Scenes of Political Life, Scenes of Military Life, and so on.

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Pere Goriot, by Honore de Balzac

Eugenie Grandet, by Honoré de Balzac

The Fatal Skin, by Honoré de Balzac

Nicolas Boileau

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