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Encyclopedia > French literature of the 17th century
Louis XIVKing of France and NavarreBy Hyacinthe Rigaud (1701)
Louis XIV
King of France and Navarre
By Hyacinthe Rigaud (1701)

French and
Francophone literature Image File history File links Download high resolution version (580x824, 90 KB)King Louis XIV of France painted by Hyacinthe Rigaud 1701 The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (580x824, 90 KB)King Louis XIV of France painted by Hyacinthe Rigaud 1701 The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of... Louis XIV King of France and Navarre By Hyacinthe Rigaud (1701) Hyacinthe Rigaud (July 20, 1659-December 27, 1743) was a French painter. ...

French literature
By category
French language
French literature is, generally speaking, literature written in the French language, particularly by citizens of France; it may also refer to literature written by people living in France who speak other traditional non-French languages. ... French (français, langue française) is one of the most important Romance languages, outnumbered in speakers only by Spanish and Portuguese. ...

French literary history

Medieval
16th century - 17th century
18th century - 19th century
20th century - Contemporary Medieval French literature is, for the purpose of this article, literature written in Oïl languages (including Old French and early Middle French) during the period from the eleventh century to the end of the fifteenth century. ... French Renaissance literature is, for the purpose of this article, literature written in French (Middle French) from the French invasion of Italy in 1494 to 1600, or roughly the period from the reign of Charles VIII of France to the ascension of Henri IV of France to the throne. ... French literature of the 18th century spans the period from the death of Louis XIV of France, through the Régence (during the minority of Louis XV) and the reigns of Louis XV of France and Louis XVI of France to the start of the French Revolution. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... French literature of the twentieth century is, for the purpose of this article, literature written in French from (roughly) 1895 to 1990. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...

Francophone literature

Francophone literature
Literature of Quebec
Postcolonial literature
Literature of Haiti
Francophone literature is literature written in the French language. ... This is an article about Literature in Quebec, a province of Canada. ... Postcolonial literature is a branch of Postmodern literature concerned with the political and cultural independence of peoples formerly subjugated in colonial empires. ... The Culture of Haiti encompasses a variety of Haitian traditions, from native customs to practices imported during French colonisation. ...

French language authors

Chronological list Chronological list of French language authors (regardless of nationality), by date of birth. ...

French Writers

Writers - Novelists
Playwrights - Poets
Essayists
Short Story Writers

Forms

Novel - Poetry - Plays
French poetry is a category of French literature. ...

Genres

Science Fiction - Comics
Fantastique - Detective Fiction
French science fiction is a substantial genre within French literature. ... Tintin, one of the most famous Belgian comics Franco-Belgian comics are comics or comic books written in Belgium and France. ... Fantastique is a French term for a literary and cinematic genre that overlaps with parts of science fiction, horror and fantasy. ...

Movements

Naturalism - Symbolism
Surrealism - Existentialism
Nouveau Roman
Theater of the Absurd Naturalism is a movement in theater, film, and literature that seeks to replicate a believable everyday reality, as opposed to such movements as Romanticism or Surrealism, in which subjects may receive highly symbolic, idealistic, or even supernatural treatment. ... Yves Tanguy Indefinite Divisibility 1942 Surrealism[1] is a movement stating that the liberation of our mind, and subsequently the liberation of the individual self and society, can be achieved by exercising the imaginative faculties of the unconscious mind to the attainment of a dream-like state different from, or... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Nouveau roman refers to certain 1950s French novels that diverged from classical literary genres. ... The Theatre of the Absurd is a phrase used in reference to particular plays written by a number of primarily European playwrights in the late 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, as well as to the style of theatre which has evolved from their work. ...

Criticism & Awards

Literary theory - Critics
Literary Prizes Literary theory is the theory (or the philosophy) of the interpretation of literature and literary criticism. ...

Most visited

Molière - Racine - Balzac
Stendhal - Flaubert
Emile Zola - Marcel Proust
Samuel Beckett - Albert Camus
This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Jean Racine. ... Balzac redirects here. ... Stendhal. ... Gustave Flaubert Gustave Flaubert (December 12, 1821 – May 8, 1880) [] was a French novelist who is counted among the greatest Western novelists. ... mile Zola (April 2, 1840 - September 29, 1902) was an influential French novelist, the most important example of the literary school of naturalism, and a major figure in the political liberalization of France. ... Proust redirects here. ... Samuel Barclay Beckett (13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989) was an Irish dramatist, novelist and poet. ... Albert Camus (pronounced ) (November 7, 1913 – January 4, 1960) was an Algerian-French author and philosopher. ...

France Portal
Literature Portal

French literature of the 17th century spans the reigns of Henry IV of France, the Regency of Marie de Medici, Louis XIII of France, the Regency of Anne of Austria (and the civil war called the Fronde) and the reign of Louis XIV of France. The literature of this period (the "Grand siècle") is often equated with the Classicism of Louis XIV's long reign during which France was beyond question the leading country in Europe (both politically and culturally) and the classical ideals of order, clarity, sense of proportion, and good taste were expounded. But the century produced in fact far more than just the classicist masterpieces of Jean Racine and Madame de Lafayette. Henry IV (French: Henri IV; December 13, 1553 – May 14, 1610), was the first monarch of the Bourbon dynasty in France. ... Marie de Medici (April 26, 1573 - July 3, 1642), born in Italy as Maria de Medici, was queen consort of France under the French name Marie de Médicis. ... Louis XIII (September 27, 1601 – May 14, 1643), called the Just (French: le Juste), was King of France from 1610 to 1643. ... Anne of Austria by Peter Paul Rubens, c. ... The Fronde (1648–1653) was a civil war in France, followed by the Franco-Spanish War (1653). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Classicism door in Olomouc, The Czech Republic Teatr Wielki in Warsaw Church La Madeleine in Paris Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to a high regard for classical antiquity, as setting standards for taste which the classicist seeks to emulate. ... Jean Racine. ... Madame de La Fayette (baptized March 18, 1634 - May 25, 1693) was a French writer, the alleged author of La Princesse de Clèves, Frances first historical novel and often taken to be one of the earliest European novels of its day. ...


For the visual arts of the seventeenth century in France, see French Baroque and Classicism. Art and architecture in France in the early 17th century are generally referred to as Baroque. ...

Contents

Society and literature in 17th century France

In Renaissance France, literature (in the broadest sense of the term) was largely the product of encyclopaedic humanism (works produced by an educated class of writers (both noble and bourgeois) from religious and legal backgrounds), although a new conception of nobility, modelled on the Italian Renaissance courts and their concept of the perfect courtier, began to take hold. The seventeenth century would see this new image transform the rude warrior noble class into what the seventeenth century would come to call the "honnête homme" ("the upright man") or the "bel esprit", among whose chief virtues were eloquent speech, skill at dance, refinement of manners, appreciation of the arts, intellectual curiosity, wit, a spiritual or platonic attitude in love, and the ability to write poetry. The Book of the Courtier (Italian Il Cortegiano) was written by Baldassare Castiglione in 1528. ...


Central to this transformation of literature and writers were the salons and literary academies that began to flourish in the first decades of the century, as well as the expanded role of noble patronage: the production of literary works (poems, plays, works of criticism or moral reflection) was increasingly considered a necessary practice by nobles, and conferred a means of social advancement (via noble patronage, social status, and -- in the case of commercial success -- financial gain) for both non-nobles and marginalized or impoverished nobles. It has been estimated that in the middle of the seventeenth century, the number of authors in France amounted to around 2,200 individuals (of which half were men of the church, and one fourth were noble), writing for a reading public of probably only a few tens of thousands of individuals. [1]


Beginning under Cardinal Richelieu, both patronage of the arts and literary academies would increasingly come under the control of the monarchy (see below). Cardinal Richelieu was the French chief minister from 1624 until his death. ...


Salons and Academies

Henri IV's court was considered by contemporaries as a rude one, lacking in the Italianate sophistication of the court of the Valois kings; it also lacked a queen, which had traditionally been the meeting point for authors and poets. Henri's literary tastes seemed largely limited to the chivalric novel Amadis of Gaul.[2] Literary culture was thus decentralized in the first half of the century and salons formed around many noble and upper class women, such as Marie de Medici and Marguerite de Valois. By the 1620s, the most famous gatherings were at the Hôtel de Rambouillet by Madame de Rambouillet and the rival salon that gathered around Madeleine de Scudéry. The Valois Dynasty succeeded the Capetian Dynasty as rulers of France from 1328- 1589. ... Amadis of Gaul is a work of fiction on the subject of Portugal and it was probably written in the early 14th Century. ... Marie de Medici (April 26, 1573 - July 3, 1642), born in Italy as Maria de Medici, was queen consort of France under the French name Marie de Médicis. ... Margaret of Valois [1] [2] (May 14, 1553 – May 27, 1615), Queen Margot (La reine Margot) was Queen of France and Navarre. ... Events and Trends Permanent Dutch settlement of New York Bay and the Hudson River. ... The Hôtel de Rambouillet was the Paris residence of Madame de Rambouillet, who ran a literary salon there from about 1607 until her death in 1665. ... Catherine de Vivonne, marquise de Rambouillet (1588 - December 2, 1665), better known simply as Madame de Rambouillet, was a society hostess and a major figure in the literary history of France. ... Madeleine de Scudéry (November 15, 1607 - June 2, 1701), often known simply as Mademoiselle de Scudéry, was a French writer. ...


Although frequently called "salons" today, the word salon first appears in French in 1664 (from the Italian word sala, used to designate the large reception hall of Italian mansions). Literary gatherings before this were often referred to by using the name of the room in which they occurred, like cabinet, réduit, ruelle and alcôve. Before the end of the 17th century, these gatherings were frequently held in the bedroom (treated as a form of drawing room): nobles, lying on their bed, would receive close friends who would sit on chairs or stools around them (this practice is even found with Louis XIV). The expression ruelle, literally meaning "little street", designates the space between a bed and the wall in a bedroom, and more generally the entire bedroom; it was used commonly to designate the gatherings of the "précieuses", the much maligned (often unfairly) intellectual and literary circles that formed around women in the first half of the 17th century.[3] This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The literary style called préciosité (preciousness) arose from the lively conversations and playful word games of les précieuses the witty and educated intellectual ladies who frequented the salon of the marquise de Rambouillet, a Parisian refuge from the dangerous political factionism and coarse manners of the royal court...


For more information on literary gatherings, see Salon (gathering). A salon is a gathering of stimulating people of quality under the roof of an inspiring hostess or host, partly to amuse one another and partly to refine their taste and increase their knowledge through conversation and readings, often consciously following Horaces definition of the aims of poetry, to...


"Academies" are institutions and learned societies which monitor, foster, critique and protect French cultural production. Academies first began to appear in France in the Renaissance (Jean-Antoine de Baïf created one devoted to poetry and music), inspired by Italian models (such as the academy around Marsilio Ficino). The first half of the seventeenth century saw a phenominal growth in private learned academies, organised around a half-dozen or a dozen individuals meeting regularly. Academies were more institutional and more concerned with criticism and analysis than those literary gatherings today called salons which were more focused on pleasurable discourse in society, although certain gatherings around such figures as Marguerite de Valois were close to the academic spirit.[4] Raphaels fresco The School of Athens An academy is an institution of higher learning, research, or honorary membership. ... Raphael was famous for depicting illustrious figures of the Classical past with the features of his Renaissance contemporaries. ... Jean Antoine de Baïf (1532 - 1589), French poet and member of the Pléiade, was born at Venice. ... Domenico Ghirlandaio. ... A salon is a gathering of stimulating people of quality under the roof of an inspiring hostess or host, partly to amuse one another and partly to refine their taste and increase their knowledge through conversation and readings, often consciously following Horaces definition of the aims of poetry, to... Margaret of Valois [1] [2] (May 14, 1553 – May 27, 1615), Queen Margot (La reine Margot) was Queen of France and Navarre. ...


By the middle of the century, the number of private academies decreased as academies gradually came under government control, sporsorship and patronage. The first private academy to become "official" and to this day the most prestigious of governmental academies is the "Académie française", founded in 1634 by Cardinal Richelieu. It is concerned with the French language. The Académie française In the French educational system an académie LAcadémie française, or the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. ... Events Moses Amyrauts Traite de la predestination is published Curaçao captured by the Dutch Treaty of Polianovska First meeting of the Académie française The witchcraft affair at Loudun Jean Nicolet lands at Green Bay, Wisconsin Opening of Covent Garden Market in London English establish a settlement... Cardinal Richelieu was the French chief minister from 1624 until his death. ... French (français, langue française) is one of the most important Romance languages, outnumbered in speakers only by Spanish and Portuguese. ...


Aristocratic codes

Certain values of the 16th and 17th century noble classes are no longer comprehensible to modern readers who may see them in a negative light. Most notable of these values are the aristocratic obsession with "glory" ("la gloire") and majesty ("la grandeur") and the spectacle of power, prestige and luxury. Corneille's heroes in particular have been criticised by modern readers who have seen their actions as vainglorious, criminal or hubristic; aristocratic spectators of the period would have seen many of these same actions as representative of their noble station.


The château of Versailles, court ballets, noble portraits, triumphal arches... all of these were representations of glory and prestige. The notion of glory (military, artistic, etc.) was seen in the context of the Roman Imperial model; it was not seen as vain or boastful, but as a moral imperative to the aristocratic classes. Nobles were required to be "generous" and "magnanamous", to perform great deeds disinterestedly (i.e. because their status demanded it, and without expecting financial or political gain), and to master their own emotions (especially fear, jealousy and the desire for vengeance). Arc de Triomphe, Paris A triumphal arch is a structure in the shape of a monumental archway, usually built to celebrate a victory in war. ...


One's status in the world demanded appropriate externalisation ( or "conspicuous consumption"). Nobles indebted themselves to build prestigious urban mansions ("hôtels particuliers") and to buy clothes, paintings, silverware, dishes and other furnishings befitting their rank. They were also required to show liberality by hosting sumptuous parties and by funding the arts. Conversely, social parvenues who took on the external trappings of the noble classes (such as the wearing of a sword) were severely criticised, sometimes by legal action (laws on sumptuous clothing worn by bourgeois existed since the Middle Ages).[5]. Conspicuous consumption is a term introduced by the American economist Thorstein Veblen, in The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899). ...


These aristocratic values began to be criticised in the mid 17th century: Blaise Pascal for example offered a ferocious analysis of the spectacle of power and François de la Rochefoucauld posited that no human act -- however generous is pretended to be -- could be considered disinterested. Blaise Pascal (pronounced ), (June 19, 1623–August 19, 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. ... François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld, le Prince de Marcillac (September 15, 1613 - March 17, 1680), was the greatest maxim writer of France, one of her best memoir writers, and perhaps the most complete and accomplished representative of her ancient nobility. ...


Classicism

In an attempt to restrict the proliferation of private centers of intellectual or literary life, so as to impose the royal court as the artistic center of France, Cardinal Richelieu took an existing literary gathering (around Valentin Conrart) and designated it as the official Académie française in 1634 (other original members included Jean Desmarets de Saint-Sorlin, Jean Ogier de Gombauld, Jean Chapelain, François le Métel de Boisrobert, François Maynard, Marin le Roy de Gomberville and Nicolas Faret; members added at the time of its official creation included Jean-Louis Guez de Balzac, Claude Favre de Vaugelas and Vincent Voiture). This process of state control of the arts and literature would be expanded even more during the reign of Louis XIV. Cardinal Richelieu was the French chief minister from 1624 until his death. ... Valentin Conrart, 1635 Valentin Conrart (or Conrard) (1603 - September 23, 1675) was one of the founders of the Académie française. ... The Académie française In the French educational system an académie LAcadémie française, or the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. ... Jean Desmarets (or Desmaretz), Sieur de Saint-Sorlin (1595 - October 28, 1676), French dramatist and miscellaneous writer, was born in Paris in 1595. ... Jean Chapelain (December 4, 1595 - February 22, 1674) was a French poet and writer. ... François le Métel de Boisrobert (1592 - March 30, 1662), was a French poet. ... François Maynard, sometimes seen as de Maynard, (1582 - 23 December 1646) was a French poet who spent much of his life in Toulouse. ... Marin le Roy, sieur du Parc et de Gomberville (1600 - June 14, 1674), was a French poet and novelist. ... Jean-Louis Guez de Balzac (1594 - February 18, 1654) was a French author. ... Claude Favre de Vaugelas Claude Favre de Vaugelas (January 6, 1595 - February 1650) was a French grammarian and man of letters. ... Vincent Voiture (February 24, 1597 - May 26, 1648), French poet, was the son of a rich merchant of Amiens. ...


The expression classicism as it applies to literature implies notions of order, clarity, moral purpose and good taste. Many of these notions are directly inspired by the works of Aristotle and Horace and by classical Greek and Roman masterpieces. Aristotle (Greek: Aristotélēs) (384 BC – March 7, 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a teacher of Plato and of Alexander the Great. ... Horace, as imagined by Anton von Werner Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (December 8, 65 BC - November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus. ...


In theater, a play should follow the Three Unities: The three unities or classical unities are rules for drama derived from Aristotles Poetics. ...

  • Unity of place : the setting should not change. In practice, this lead to the frequent "Castle, interior". Battles take place off stage.
  • Unity of time: ideally the entire play should take place in 24 hours.
  • Unity of action: there should be one central story and all secondary plots should be linked to it.

Although based on classical examples, the unities of place and time were seen as essential for the spectator's complete absorption into the dramatic action; wildly dispersed scenes in China or Africa, or over many years would -- critics maintained -- break the theatrical illusion. Sometimes grouped with the unity of action is the notion that no character should appear unexpectedly late in the drama.


Linked with the theatrical unities are the following concepts:

  • "Les bienséances" : literature should respect moral codes and good taste; nothing should be presented that flouts these codes, even if they are historical events.
  • "La vraisemblance" : actions should be believable. When historical events contradict believability, some critics counselled the latter. The criterion of believability was sometimes also used to criticize soliloquy, and in late classical plays characters are almost invariably supplied with confidents (valets, friends, nurses) to whom they reveal their emotions.

These rules precluded many elements common in the baroque "tragi-comedy": flying horses, chiralric battles, magical trips to foreign lands and the deus ex machina. The mauling of Hippolyte by a monster in Phèdre could only take place offstage. Deus ex machina is a Latin phrase that is used to describe an unexpected, artificial, or improbable character, device, or event introduced suddenly in a work of fiction or drama to resolve a situation or untangle a plot (e. ... Phèdre was a 1677 play by Jean Racine, based on both the play Hippolytus by Euripides, and a later Roman play Phaedra by Seneca the Younger. ...

  • Finally, literature and art should consciously follow Horace's precept "to please and educate" (aut delectare aut prodesse est).

These "rules" or "codes" were seldom completely followed, and many of the centuries masterpieces broke these rules intentionally to highten emotional effect:

  • Corneille's "Le Cid" was criticised for having Rodrigue appear before Chimène after having killed her father, a violation of moral codes.
  • "La Princesse de Clèves"'s revelation to his husband of her adulterous feelings for the Duc de Nemours was criticized for being unbelievable.

In 1674 there erupted an intellectual debate -- "la querelle des Anciens et des Modernes" -- on whether the arts and literature of the modern era had achieved more than the illustrious writers and artists of antiquity. The Académy was dominated by the "Moderns" (Charles Perrault, Jean Desmarets de Saint-Sorlin) and Perrault's poem "Le Siècle de Louis le Grand" ("The Century of Louis the Great") (1687) was the strongest expression of their conviction that the reign of Louis XIV was the equal of Augustus. As a great lover of the classics, Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux found himself pushed into the role of champion of the "Anciens" (his severe criticisms of Desmarets de Saint-Sorlin's poems did not help), and Jean Racine, Jean de La Fontaine and Jean de La Bruyère took his defense. Meanwhile, Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle and the gazette "Mercure galant" joined the "Moderns". The debate would last until the beginning of the eighteenth century. Events February 19 - England and the Netherlands sign the Treaty of Westminster. ... The quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns (French: querelle des Anciens et des Modernes) was a literary and artistic quarrel which shook the Académie française at the end of the 17th century. ... Charles Perrault, 1665 Charles Perrault (January 12, 1628 – May 16, 1703) was a French author who laid foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale, and whose best known tales include Le Petit Chaperon rouge (Little Red Riding Hood), La Belle au bois dormant (Sleeping Beauty), Le Chat bott... Jean Desmarets (or Desmaretz), Sieur de Saint-Sorlin (1595 - October 28, 1676), French dramatist and miscellaneous writer, was born in Paris in 1595. ... Augustus (Latin: IMP•CAESAR•DIVI•F•AVGVSTVS;[1] September 23, 63 BC–August 19, AD 14), known as Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (English Octavian; Latin: C•IVLIVS•C•F•CAESAR•OCTAVIANVS) for the period of his life prior to 27 BC, was the first and among the most important of... Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux, commonly called Boileau, (November 1, 1636 - March 13, 1711) was a French poet and critic. ... Jean Racine. ... Jean de La Fontaine (July 8, 1621 – April 13, 1695) is the most famous French fabulist and probably the most widely read French poet of the 17th century. ... Jean de La Bruyère (August 16, 1645 - May 10, 1696), was a French essayist and moralist. ... For other uses of Fontenelle, see Fontenelle (disambiguation). ... The Mercure de France was a French gazette and literary magazine first published from 1672 to 1724 (with an interruption in 1674-1677) under the title Mercure galant (sometimes spelled Mercure gallant) (1672-1674) and Nouveau Mercure galant (1677-1724). ...


The expression "classicism" is also linked to the visual arts and architecture of the period, and most specifically to the construction of the château of Versailles, the crowning achievement of an official program of propaganda and royal glory. Although originally just a country retreat used for special festivities -- and known more for André Le Nôtre's gardens and fountains -- Versailles eventually became the permanent home of the king. By relocating to Versailles, Louis effectively avoided the dangers of Paris (in his youth, Louis XIV had suffered during the civil and parliamentary insurrection known as the Fronde) and could also keep his eye very closely on the affairs of the nobles and play them off against each other and against the newer "noblesse de robe". Versailles became a gilded cage: to leave spelled disaster for a noble, for all official charges and appointments were made there. A strict etiquette was imposed: a word or glance from the king could make or destroy a career. The king himself followed a strict daily program, and there was little privacy. Through his wars and the glory of Versailles, Louis became, to a certain degree, the arbiter of taste and power in Europe and both his château and the etiquette in Versailles were copied by the other European courts. Yet the difficult wars at the end of his long reign and the religious problems created by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes made the last years dark ones. Versailles (pronounced , in French), formerly the de facto capital of the kingdom of France, is now a wealthy suburb of Paris and is still an important administrative and judicial center. ... Painting of André Le Nôtre by Carlo Maratti André Le Nôtre (March 12, 1613 - September 15, 1700) was a landscape architect and the gardener of King Louis XIV of France from 1645 to 1700. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Paris Eiffel tower as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... The Fronde (1648–1653) was a civil war in France, followed by the Franco-Spanish War (1653). ... The Edict of Nantes was issued on April 13, 1598 by Henry IV of France to grant French Calvinists (also known as Huguenots) substantial rights in a nation still considered essentially Catholic. ...


Prose fiction

"Les Amours" and "Les histoires tragiques"

In France, the period following the Wars of Religion saw the appearance of a new form of narrative fiction – that some critics have since termed the "sentimental novel" – which very quickly became a literary sensation thanks to the enthusiasm of a reading public searching for delight after so many years of conflict. The French Wars of Religion were a series of conflicts fought between the Catholic League and the Huguenots from the middle of the sixteenth century to the Edict of Nantes in 1598. ...


These relatively short (and often realistic) novels of love (or "amours" as they are frequently called in the titles) included extensive examples of gallant letters and polite discourse, amorous dialogues, letters and poems inserted in the story; gallant conceits and other rhetorical figures. These texts played an important role in the elaboration of new modes of civility and discourse of the upper classes (leading to the notion of the noble "honnête homme"). None of these novels have been republished since the early part of the seventeenth century and they remain largely unknown today. Authors associated with "les Amours": Antoine de Nervèze, Nicolas des Escuteaux and François du Souhait.[6] Antoine de Nervèze (c. ... Nicolas des Escuteaux (or the sieur des Escuteaux, sometimes written Escuteaus) (after 1570? - c. ... François du Souhait (between 1570 and 1580 - 1617, Nancy) was a French language author (translator, novelist, poet, satirist, moral philosopher) of the late 16th and early 17th century from the Duchy of Lorraine (at the time, a sovereign court with ties to France). ...


Meanwhile, the tradition of the dark tale - coming from the tragic short story ("histoire tragique") associated with Bandello and frequently ending in suicide or murder - continued in the works of Jean-Pierre Camus and François de Rosset. Matteo Bandello (1480—1562) was an Italian novelist. ... Jean-Pierre Camus (November 3, 1584 (Paris) - April 26, 1652) was a French bishop and writer of works of fiction and spirituality. ...


The Baroque adventure novel

By 1610, the short novel of love had largely disappeared as tastes returned to longer adventure novels ("romans d'aventures") and their clichés (pirates, storms, kidnapped maidens) that had been popular since the Valois court (Amadis of Gaul was the favorite reading matter of Henri IV; Béroalde de Verville was still writing and Nicolas de Montreux had just died in 1608). Both Nervèze and Des Escuteaux, in their later works, attempted multi-volume adventure novels, and over the next twenty years the priest Jean-Pierre Camus adapted the form to tell harrowing moral tales heavily influenced by the "histoire tragique". But the most well known of these long adventure novels is perhaps Polexandre (1629-49) by the young author Marin le Roy de Gomberville. Amadis of Gaul is a work of fiction on the subject of Portugal and it was probably written in the early 14th Century. ... François Béroalde de Verville (Paris, April 27, 1556 - October 19-26, 1626) was a French Renaissance novelist, poet and intellectual. ... Nicolas de Montreux (Maine, c. ... Jean-Pierre Camus (November 3, 1584 (Paris) - April 26, 1652) was a French bishop and writer of works of fiction and spirituality. ... Marin le Roy, sieur du Parc et de Gomberville (1600 - June 14, 1674), was a French poet and novelist. ...


All of these authors were eclipsed however by the international success of Honoré d'Urfé's immense novel l'Astrée (1607-1633) -- centered around the shepherd Céladon and his love Astrée -- which combined a frame tale device of shepards and maidens meeting each other and telling their stories and philosophizing on love (a form derived from the ancient Greek novel "the Aethiopica" by Heliodorus of Emesa) and a pastoral setting (derived from the Spanish and Italian pastoral tradition from such writers as Jacopo Sannazaro, Jorge de Montemayor, Torquato Tasso and Giambattista Guarini) of noble and idealized shepherds and maidens tending their sheep and falling in and out of love. Honoré dUrfé, marquis de Valromey, comte de Châteauneuf (February 11, 1568 - June 1, 1625), French novelist and miscellaneous writer, was born at Marseille, and was educated at the Collège de Tournon. ... Honoré dUrfé, marquis de Valromey, comte de Châteauneuf (February 11, 1568 - June 1, 1625) was a French novelist and miscellaneous writer. ... A frame story (also frame tale, frame narrative, etc) is a narrative technique whereby a main story is composed, at least in part, for the purpose of organizing a set of shorter stories, each of which is a story within a story. ... Heliodorus of Emesa, from Emesa, Syria, was a Greek writer generally dated in the 3rd century of the Common Era, and is known for the ancient Greek romance or novel called the Aethiopica (the Ethiopian Story) or sometimes Theagenes and Chariclea. According to his own statement, his fathers name... Titians The Pastoral Concert Pastoral refers to the lifestyle of shepherds and pastoralists, moving livestock around larger areas of land according to seasons and availability of water and feed. ... Jacopo Sannazaro (1458 - April 27, 1530), Italian poet of the Renaissance, was born in 1458 at Naples of a noble family, said to have been of Spanish origin, which had its seat at San Nazaro near Pavia. ... Jorge de Montemayor (or Montemor) (1520? - February 26, 1561), Spanish novelist and poet, of Portuguese descent, was born at Montemor o Velho (near Coimbra), whence he derived his name, the Spanish form of which is Montemayor. ... Torquato Tasso (March 11, 1544 – April 25, 1595) was an Italian poet of the 16th century, best known for his poem La Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered; 1575), in which he describes the imaginary combats between Christians and Muslims at the end of the First Crusade, during the siege of Jerusalem. ... Battista Guarini Giovanni Battista Guarini (December 10, 1538 – October 7, 1612) was an Italian poet, dramatist, and diplomat. ...


The influence of d'Urfé's novel was immense, especially in its discursive structure which permitted an infinite number of separate stories and characters to be introduced and their resolution to be constantly delayed for thousands of pages. D'Urfé's novel also promoted a rarified neo-platonism which differed profoundly with the frequent physicality of the knights in the Renaissance novel (such as Amadis of Gaul). The only element of d'Urfé's work which did not produce countless imitations was in its "roman pastoral" setting. Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is an ancient school of philosophy beginning in the 3rd century A.D. It was based on the teachings of Plato and Platonists; but it interpreted Plato in many new ways, such that Neoplatonism was quite different from what Plato taught, though not many Neoplatonists would... Amadis of Gaul is a work of fiction on the subject of Portugal and it was probably written in the early 14th Century. ...


In theorizing the origins of the novel, the early seventeenth century conceived of the novel as "an epic in prose", and in truth the epic poem at the end of the Renaissance had few thematic differences from the novel: novelistic love had spilled into the epic and adventurous knights had become the subject of novels. The novels from 1640 to 1660 would make this melding complete. These novels extended to multiple volumes and were structurally complicated, using the same techniques of inserted stories and tale-within-a-tale dialogues as d'Urfé. Often called "romans de longue haleine" (or "deep-breath books"), they usually took place in an ancient historical period like Rome, Egypt or ancient Persia, used historical characters (for this reason they are called "romans héroiques" heroic romances) and told the adventures of a series of perfect lovers separated by accident or misfortune to the four corners of the world. Unlike the chivalric romance, magical elements and creatures were relatively rare. Furthermore, there was a concentration in these works on psychological analysis and on moral and sentimental questions that the Renaissance novel lacked. Many of these novels were actually "romans à clé" which described actual contemporary relationships under disguised novelistic names and characters. The most famous of these authors and novels are: Heroic romances, the name by which is distinguished a class of imaginative literature which flourished in the 17th century, principally in France. ...

  • Madeleine de Scudéry (1607-1701)
    • Ibrahim, ou l'illustre Bassa (4 vols. 1641)
    • Artamène, ou le Grand Cyrus (10 vols. 1648-1653)
    • Clélie, histoire romaine (10 vols. 1654-1661)
    • Almahide, ou l'esclave reine (8 vols. 1661-1663)
  • Rolland Le Vayer de Boutigny
    • Mithridate (1648-51)
  • Gauthier de Costes, seigneur de la Calprenède
    • Cassandre (10 vols. 1642-1645)
    • Cleopatre (1646-57)
    • Faramond (1661)

Madeleine de Scudéry (November 15, 1607 - June 2, 1701), often known simply as Mademoiselle de Scudéry, was a French writer. ... Gauthier de Costes, seigneur de la Calprenède (1609 or 1610 - 1663) was a French novelist and dramatist. ...

Baroque comic fiction

Not all fiction from the first half of the century was a wild flight of fancy in far-flung lands and rarified adventurous love stories. Influenced by the international success of the picaresque novel from Spain (such as the novel Lazarillo de Tormes), and by Miguel de Cervantes's short story collection Exemplary Tales (French translations started to appear in 1614) and "Don Quixote de la Mancha" (French translation 1614-1618), the French novelists of the first half of the century also chose to describe and satirize their own epoque and its excesses. Other important models of satire were provided by Fernando de Rojas's "Celestina" and John Barclay's (1582-1621) two satirical works in Latin "Euphormio sive Satiricon" (1602) and "Argenis" (1621). The picaresque novel (Spanish: picaresco, from pícaro, for rogue or rascal) is a popular style of novel that originated in Spain and flourished in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries and has continued to influence modern literature. ... Title page of the 1554 edition The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes and of His Fortunes and Adversities is a Spanish novel, published anonymously, 1554, in Alcalá de Henares in Spain, and, in 1557, in Antwerp, Flanders, then under Spanish rule. ... Don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (September 29, 1547 – April 23, 1616) was a Spanish novelist, poet and playwright. ... Statues of Don Quixote (left) and Sancho Panza (right) Don Quixote de la Mancha (IPA: ) is a novel by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. ... Fernando de Rojas (c. ... The Celestina (used as title, synecdoche, one of the characters of the book actually called Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea or Libro de Calisto y Melibea y de la puta vieja Celestina) is a book published anonymously by the bachelor Fernando de Rojas ( about whom we know little ) in 1499. ... John Barclay (January 28, 1582 — August 15, 1621) was a Scottish satirist and Latin poet. ... Argenis is a book by John Barclay; it is a work of historical allegory which tells the story of the religious conflict in France under Henry III and Henry IV. Categories: Stub ...


Agrippa d'Aubigné's "Les Aventures du baron de Faeneste" portrays the rude manners and comic adventures of a Gascon in the royal court. Agrippa dAubigné Théodore-Agrippa dAubigné (February 8, 1552 – April 29, 1630) was a French poet, soldier, propagandist and chronicler. ...


Charles Sorel's "L'histoire comique de Francion" is a picaresque inspired story of the ruses and amorous dealings of a young gentleman, and his "Le Berger extravagant" is a satire of the d'Urfé-inspired pastoral, which (taking a clue from the end of "Don Quixote") has a young man take on the life of a shepherd. Despite its "realism", Sorel's works remain, none the less, highly baroque with dream sequences and inserted narrations (for example, when Francion tells of his years at school) typical of the adventure novel. This use of inserted stories also follows Cervantes who inserted a number of nearly autonomous stories into his "Quixote". Charles Sorel, sieur de Souvigny (c. ...


Paul Scarron's most famous work, "Le Roman comique", uses the narrative frame of a group of ambulant actors in the provinces to present both scenes of farcical comedy and sophisticated inserted tales. Paul Scarron (c. ...


Cyrano de Bergerac -- made famous by the 19th century play by Edmond Rostand -- wrote two novels that, sixty years before Gulliver's Travels or Voltaire (not to mention science-fiction), use a journey to magical lands (the moon and the sun) as pretexts for satirizing contemporary philosophy and morals. By the end of the century, Cyrano's works would inspire a number of philosophical novels in which Frenchmen travel to foreign lands and strange utopias. Cyrano de Bergerac Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac (March 6, 1619 – July 28, 1655) was a French dramatist and duellist born in Paris, who is now best remembered for the many works of fiction which have been woven around his life story, most notably the play by Edmond Rostand which... Statue dedicated to Edmond Rostand in Cambo-les-Bains Edmond Eugène Alexis Rostand (April 1, 1868 - December 2, 1918), French poet and dramatist. ... First Edition of Gullivers Travels Gullivers Travels (1726, amended 1735), officially Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, is a novel by Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of the travellers tales literary sub-genre. ... François-Marie Arouet (21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), better known by the pen name Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, essayist, deist and philosopher known for his wit, philosophical writings, and defense of civil liberties, including freedom of religion and the right to a fair trial. ...


The early half of the century also saw the continued popularity of the comic short story and collections of humorous discussions, such as in the "Histoires comiques" of François du Souhait; the playful, chaotic, sometimes obsene and almost unreadable Moyen de parvenir by Béroalde de Verville (a parody of books of "table talk", of Rabelais and of Michel de Montaigne's "The Essays"); the anonymous "Caquets de l'accouchée" (1622); and Molière d'Essertine's "Semaine amoureuse" (a collection of short stories). François du Souhait (between 1570 and 1580 - 1617, Nancy) was a French language author (translator, novelist, poet, satirist, moral philosopher) of the late 16th and early 17th century from the Duchy of Lorraine (at the time, a sovereign court with ties to France). ... François Béroalde de Verville (Paris, April 27, 1556 - October 19-26, 1626) was a French Renaissance novelist, poet and intellectual. ... François Rabelais (ca. ... Michel de Montaigne Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (IPA pronunciation: []) (February 28, 1533 – September 13, 1592) was an influential French Renaissance writer, generally considered to be the inventor of the personal essay. ... Essays is the title of a book written by Michel de Montaigne that was first published in 1580. ...


Select list of baroque comique writers and works:

  • Agrippa d'Aubigné (1552-1630)
    • Les Aventures du baron de Faeneste (1617, 1619, 1630)
  • Béroalde de Verville (1556-1626)
    • Le Moyen de parvenir (c.1610)
  • François du Souhait (c.1570/80 - 1617)
    • Histoires comiques (1612)
  • Molière d'Essertine (c.1600 - 1624)
    • Semaine amoureuse (1620)
  • Charles Sorel (1602-1674)
    • L'histoire comique de Francion (1622)
    • Nouvelles françoises (1623)
    • Le Berger extravagant (1627)
  • Jean de Lannel (dates?)
    • Le Roman satyrique (1624)
  • Antoine-André Mareschal (dates?)
    • La Chrysolite (1627)
  • Paul Scarron (1610-1660)
    • Virgile travesti (1648-53)
    • Le Roman comique (1651-57)
  • Cyrano de Bergerac (Hector Savinien) (1619-1655)
    • Histoire comique des Etats et Empires de la Lune (1657)
    • Histoire comique des Etats et Empires du Soleil (1662)

In the latter half of the century, a contemporary setting would be also used in many classical "nouvelles" (or short novels), especially as a form of moral critique of contemporary society. Agrippa dAubigné Théodore-Agrippa dAubigné (February 8, 1552 – April 29, 1630) was a French poet, soldier, propagandist and chronicler. ... François Béroalde de Verville (Paris, April 27, 1556 - October 19-26, 1626) was a French Renaissance novelist, poet and intellectual. ... François du Souhait (between 1570 and 1580 - 1617, Nancy) was a French language author (translator, novelist, poet, satirist, moral philosopher) of the late 16th and early 17th century from the Duchy of Lorraine (at the time, a sovereign court with ties to France). ... Charles Sorel, sieur de Souvigny (c. ... Paul Scarron (c. ... Cyrano de Bergerac Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac (March 6, 1619 – July 28, 1655) was a French dramatist and duellist born in Paris, who is now best remembered for the many works of fiction which have been woven around his life story, most notably the play by Edmond Rostand which...


The "Nouvelle classique"

By 1660, the multi-volume baroque historical novel had largely fallen out of fashion. The tendency was for much shorter works ("nouvelles" or "petits romans") without the complex structure or adventurous elements (pirates, shipwrecks, kidnappings). An interest in love, psychological analysis, moral dilemmas and social constraints permeates these novels. When the action was placed in an historical setting, this was increasingly a setting in the recent past, and although still filled with anacronisms, these novels showed an interest in historical detail; these are generally called "nouvelles historiques". A number of these short novels recounted the "secret history" of a famous event (like Villedieu's "Annales galantes"), linking the action generally to an amorous intrigue; these were called "histoires galantes". Some of these short novels told stories of the contemporary world (like Préchac's "L'Illustre Parisienne").[7]


Important "nouvelles classiques":

The most famous of all of these is clearly Madame de Lafayette's La princesse de Clèves. Reduced to essentially three characters, the short novel tells the story of a married noble woman in the time of Henri II who falls in love with another man, but who reveals her passion to her husband. Although the novel includes a couple of inserted stories, on the whole the narration concentrates on the unspoken doubts and fears of the two individuals living in a social setting dominated by etiquette and moral correctness; despite the historical setting, Lafayette was clearly describing her contemporary world. The psychological analysis is close to the pessimism of La Rochefoucauld, and the abnegation of the characters leads ultimately to tragedy. For all of its force however, Madame de Lafayette's novel is not the first to have a recent historical setting or psychological depth, as some critics state; these elements can be found in novels of the decade before, and in fact are already present in certain of the "Amours" at the beginning of the century. Jean Renaud de Segrais (August 22, 1624 - March 15, 1701) was a French poet and novelist born in Caen. ... Madame de La Fayette (baptized March 18, 1634 - May 25, 1693) was a French writer, the alleged author of La Princesse de Clèves, Frances first historical novel and often taken to be one of the earliest European novels of its day. ... Marie-Catherine de Villedieu, born Marie-Catherine Desjardins and generally referred to as Madame de Villedieu (Alençon (Orne) 1640 - Saint-Rémy-du-Val (Sarthe) 1683) was a French writer of plays, novels and short fiction. ... Jean Donneau de Visé (1638 - 1710) was a French journalist, royal historian (historiographe du roi), playwright and publicist. ... Marie-Catherine de Villedieu, born Marie-Catherine Desjardins and generally referred to as Madame de Villedieu (Alençon (Orne) 1640 - Saint-Rémy-du-Val (Sarthe) 1683) was a French writer of plays, novels and short fiction. ... Madame de La Fayette (baptized March 18, 1634 - May 25, 1693) was a French writer, the alleged author of La Princesse de Clèves, Frances first historical novel and often taken to be one of the earliest European novels of its day. ... Marie-Catherine de Villedieu, born Marie-Catherine Desjardins and generally referred to as Madame de Villedieu (Alençon (Orne) 1640 - Saint-Rémy-du-Val (Sarthe) 1683) was a French writer of plays, novels and short fiction. ... César Vichard de Saint-Réal (1639 - 1692), was a French novelist. ... Marie-Catherine de Villedieu, born Marie-Catherine Desjardins and generally referred to as Madame de Villedieu (Alençon (Orne) 1640 - Saint-Rémy-du-Val (Sarthe) 1683) was a French writer of plays, novels and short fiction. ... Madame de La Fayette (baptized March 18, 1634 - May 25, 1693) was a French writer, the alleged author of La Princesse de Clèves, Frances first historical novel and often taken to be one of the earliest European novels of its day. ... La Rochefoucauld can refer to: François de La Rochefoucauld La Rochefoucauld, Charente, a commune in the Charente département in France This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


Other novelistic forms after 1660

The obsessions of the "nouvelle classique" (an interest in love, psychological analysis, moral dilemmas and social constraints) are also apparent in the anonymous epistolary novel Lettres d'une religieuse portugaise ("Letters of a Portuguese Nun") (1668), attributed to Guilleragues, which were a major sensation when they were published, in part because of their perceived authenticity. These letters written by a scorned woman to her absent lover were a powerful representation of amorous passion with many similarities to the language of Racine. Other epistolary novels followed, written by Claude Barbin, Vincent Voiture, Edmé Boursault, Fontenelle (who used the form to introduce discussion of philosophical and moral matters, prefiguring Montesquieu's Lettres persanes in the 18th century) and others; actual love letters written by noble ladies (Madame de Bussy-Lameth, Madame de Coligny) were also published. Titlepage of Aphra Behns Love-Letters (1684) An epistolary novel is written as a series of documents. ... The Letters of a Portuguese Nun were written by the 17th century Franciscan nun, Marianna Alcoforado, to Noel Bouton, later Marquis de Chamilly. ... Vincent Voiture (February 24, 1597 - May 26, 1648), French poet, was the son of a rich merchant of Amiens. ... Edmé Boursault (October, 1638 - September 15, 1701), French dramatist and miscellaneous writer, was born at Mussy lEvéque, now Mussy-sur-Seine (Aube). ... For other uses of Fontenelle, see Fontenelle (disambiguation). ... Montesquieu can refer to: Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu Several communes of France: Montesquieu, in the Hérault département Montesquieu, in the Lot-et-Garonne département Montesquieu, in the Tarn-et-Garonne département This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages... Persian Letters is a satirical story of two Persian brothers travelling through France by Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu. ...


Antoine Furetière (1619-1688) is responsible for a longer comic novel which pokes fun at a bourgeois family: "Le Roman bourgeois" (1666). The choice of the bourgeois "arriviste" or "parvenu" (a "social climber" trying to ape the manners and style of the noble classes) as a source of mockery appears in a number of short stories and in theater of the period (such as Molière's "Bourgeois Gentihomme"). Antoine Furetière (December 28, 1619 - May 14, 1688), French scholar and miscellaneous writer, was born in Paris. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


The long adventurous novel of love continued to exist after 1660, albeit in a far shorter form than the novels of the 1640s. Influenced as much by the "nouvelles historiques" and the "nouvelles galantes" as by the "roman d'aventures" and the "roman historique", these galant and historical novels -- whose settings range from ancient Rome to Renaissance Castille or France -- were published in to the first decades of the 18th century. Authors include: Madame Marie Catherine d'Aulnoy, Mlle Charlotte-Rose de Caumont La Force, Mlle Anne de La Roche-Guilhem, Catherine Bernard, Catherine Bédacier-Durand. Marie-Catherine le Jumelle de Barneville, Baronne dAulnoy (1650/1651–4 January 1705) was a French writer known for her fairy tales. ... Charlotte-Rose de Caumont La Force or Mademoiselle de La Force (1654 - 1724) was a French novelist and poet. ...


An important history of the novel was written by Pierre Daniel Huet, Traitté de l'origine des romans (1670), which (much like theoretical discussions on theatrical "vraisemblance", "bienséance" and the nature of tragedy and comedy) stressed the need for moral utility and made important distinctions between history and the novel, and between the epic (which treats of politics and war) and the novel (which treats of love). Pierre Daniel Huet (1630-1721) was a French churchman and scholar, Bishop of Soissons from 1685 to 1689 and afterwards of Avranches. ... Marie de LaFayettes Zayde (1670), the original context of Huets Traitté de lorigine des romans Pierre Daniel Huets Traitté de lorigine des romans (Treatise on the Origin of Novels, or Romances if one wants to speak early 18th century English) can claim to be the...


The first half of the century had seen the development of the biographical mémoire (see below), and by the 1670s this form began to be used in novels. Madame de Villedieu (her real name was Marie-Catherine Desjardins), author of a number of "nouvelles", was also the author of a longer realistic work that represented (and satirized) the contemporary world via the fictionalized "mémoires" of young woman telling her amorous and economic hardships: Mémoires de la vie d'Henriette Sylvie de Molière (1672-1674). Marie-Catherine de Villedieu, born Marie-Catherine Desjardins and generally referred to as Madame de Villedieu (Alençon (Orne) 1640 - Saint-Rémy-du-Val (Sarthe) 1683) was a French writer of plays, novels and short fiction. ...


The fictional "mémoire" form was used by other novelists as well. Courtilz de Sandras's novels -- "Mémoires de M.L.C.D.R." (1687), "Mémoires de M. d'Artagnan" (1700), "Mémoires de M. de B." (1711) -- describe the world of Richelieu and Mazarin without galant clichés: spies, kidnappings, political machinations predominate. Among the other "mémoires" of the period, the most famous was the work of an Englishman Anthony Hamilton, whose "Mémoires de la vie du comte de Grammont..." was published in France in 1713 and tells of his years in the French court from 1643-1663. Many of these works were published anonymously; in some cases it is difficult to tell whether they are fictionlized or biographical. Other authors include: abbé Cavard, abbé de Villiers, abbé Olivier, le sieur de Grandchamp. The realism and occasional irony of these novels would lead directly to the novels of Alain-René Lesage, Pierre de Marivaux and Abbé Prévost in the 18th century. Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras (1644–1712) was a French novelist and memorialist who wrote semi-fictional memoirs (in the first person) of historical figures from the recent past (such as the marquis de Montbrun and M. de Rochefort). ... Antoine (or Anthony) Hamilton (1646 - April 21, 1720) was a French classical author. ... Alain-René Lesage (May 8, 1668 – November 17, 1747) was a French novelist and playwright born at Sarzeau, Brittany. ... Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux (February 4, 1688 - February 12, 1763), French novelist and dramatist, was born at Paris. ... Antoine François Prévost (Antoine Francois Prevost dExiles) (April 1, 1697 - December 23, 1763), usually known simply as the Abbé Prévost, was a French author and novelist. ...


In the 1690s, the Fairy tale began to appear in French literature. The most famous collection of traditional tales (liberally adapted) was by Charles Perrault (1697), although many others were published (such as those by Henriette-Julie de Murat and Madame d'Aulnoy). A major revolution would occur however with the appearance of Antoine Galland's first French (and indeed modern) translation of the Thousand and One Nights (or "Arabian Nights") (from 1704; another translation appeared in 1710-12), which would influence the 18th century short stories of Voltaire, Diderot and countless others. A fairy tale is a story, either told to children or as if told to children, concerning the adventures of mythical characters such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants, and others. ... Charles Perrault, 1665 Charles Perrault (January 12, 1628 – May 16, 1703) was a French author who laid foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale, and whose best known tales include Le Petit Chaperon rouge (Little Red Riding Hood), La Belle au bois dormant (Sleeping Beauty), Le Chat bott... Henriette-Julie de Murat was an aristocratic French writer of the late 17th century. ... Marie-Catherine le Jumelle de Barneville, Baronne dAulnoy (1650/1651–4 January 1705) was a French writer known for her fairy tales. ... Antoine Galland (April 4, 1646 — February 17, 1715) was a French orientalist and archaeologist, and the first European translator of the Arabian Nights. ... The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (كتاب ألف ليلة و ليلة in Arabic or هزار و یک شب in Persian), also known as The book of a Thousand Nights and a Night... François-Marie Arouet (21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), better known by the pen name Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, essayist, deist and philosopher known for his wit, philosophical writings, and defense of civil liberties, including freedom of religion and the right to a fair trial. ... Denis Diderot Denis Diderot (October 5, 1713 - July 31, 1784) was a French writer and philosopher. ...


The period also saw several novels with voyages and utopian descriptions of foreign cultures (in imitation of Cyrano de Bergerac, Thomas More and Francis Bacon):

  • Denis Veiras - "Histoire de Sévarambes" (1677)
  • Gabrielle de Foigny - "Les Avantures de Jacques Sadeur dans la découverte et le voyage de la Terre australe" (or " la Terre australe connue") (1676)
  • Tyssot de Patot - "Voyages et Aventures de Jacques Massé" (1710)

Of similar didactic aims was Fénelon's "Les Aventures de Télémaque" (1694-6), which represents a classicist's attempt to overcome the excesses of the baroque novel: using a structure of travels and adventures (grafted onto Telemachus the son of Ulysses) Fénelon exposes his moral philosophy. This novel would be copied by numerous didactic novels in the 18th century. François de Salignac de la Mothe, more commonly known as François Fénelon (1651 - 1715), was a French Roman Catholic theologian, poet and writer. ... Telemachus and Mentor Telemachus departing from Nestor, painting by Henry Howard (1769–1847) Telemachus (also transliterated as Telemachos or Telémakhos; literally, far-away fighter) is a figure in Greek mythology, the son of Odysseus and Penelope. ...


Poetry

Because of the new conception of "l'honnête homme" or "the honest or upright man", poetry became one of the principle modes of literary production of noble gentlemen and of non-noble professional writers in their patronage in the 17th century.


Poetry was used for all purposes. A great deal of 17th and 18th century poetry was "occasional", meaning that it was written to celebrate a particular event (a marriage, birth, military victory) or to solemnize a tragic occurrence (a death, militray defeat), and this kind of poetry was frequent with gentlemen in the service of a noble or the king. Poetry was the chief form of seventeenth century theater: the vast majority of scripted plays were written in verse (see "Theater" below). Poetry was used in satires (Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux is famous for his "Satires" (1666)) and in epics (inspired by the Renaissance epic tradition and by Tasso) like Jean Chapelain's La Pucelle. Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux, commonly called Boileau, (November 1, 1636 - March 13, 1711) was a French poet and critic. ... Torquato Tasso (March 11, 1544 - April 25, 1595) was an Italian poet of the 16th century, best known for his poem La Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered; 1575), in which he describes the imaginary combats between Christians and Muslims at the end of the First Crusade, during the siege of Jerusalem. ... Jean Chapelain (December 4, 1595 - February 22, 1674) was a French poet and writer. ...


Although French poetry during the reign of Henri IV and Louis XIII was still largely inspired by the poets of the late Valois court, some of their excesses and poetic liberties found censure, especially in the work of François de Malherbe who criticized La Pléiade's and Philippe Desportes's irregularities of meter or form (the suppression of the cesura by a hiatus, sentences clauses spilling over into the next line "enjambement", neologisms constructed from Greek words, etc.). The later 17th century would see Malherbe as the grandfather of poetic classicism. Main articles: France in the Middle Ages and Early Modern France The Valois Dynasty succeeded the Capetian Dynasty as rulers of France from 1328-1589. ... François de Malherbe François de Malherbe (1555 - October 16, 1628) was a French poet, critic and translator. ... The Pléiade was a group of 16th-century French poets whose principal members were Pierre de Ronsard, Joachim du Bellay and Jean-Antoine de Baïf. ... Philippe Desportes (1546 - October 5, 1606), French poet, was born at Chartres. ... A cæsura, in prosody, is an audible pause that breaks up a long line of verse. ... Look up hiatus in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A neologism (from Greek νεολογισμός νέος [neos] = new; λόγος [logos] = word) is a word, term, or phrase which has been recently created (coined) — often to apply to new concepts, to synthesize pre-existing concepts, or to make older terminology sound more contemporary. ...


The Pléiade poems of the natural world (fields and streams) were continued in the first half of the century -- but the tone was often elegiac or melancholy (an "ode to solitude"), and the natural world presented was sometimes the wild sea coast or some other rugged environment -- by poets who have been grouped by later critics with the "baroque" label (notably Théophile de Viau and Antoine Gérard de Saint-Amant). Théophile de Viau (near Agen, 1590 - Paris, 25 September 1626) was a French baroque poet and dramatist. ... Marc Antoine Gérard, sieur de Saint-Amant (1594 - December 29, 1661), French poet, was born near Rouen. ...


Poetry came to be a part of the social games in noble salons (see "salons" above), where epigrams, satirical verse, and poetic descriptions were all common (the most famous example is "La Guirlande de Julie" (1641) at the Hôtel de Rambouillet, a collection of floral poems written by the salon members for the birthday of the host's daughter). The linguistic aspects of the phenomenon associated with the "précieuses" (similar to Euphuism in England, Gongorism in Spain and Marinism in Italy) -- the use of highly metaphorical (sometimes obscure) language, the purification of socially unacceptable vocabulary -- was tied to this poetic salon spirit and would have an enormous impact on French poetic and courtly language. Although "préciosité" was often mocked (especially in the later 1660s when the phenomenon had spread to the provinces) for its linguistic and romantic excesses (often linked to a misogynistic disdain for intellectual women), the French language and social manners of the seventeenth century were permanently changed by it.[8] An epigram is a short poem with a clever twist at the end or a concise and witty statement. ... The literary style called préciosité (preciousness) arose from the lively conversations and playful word games of les précieuses the witty and educated intellectual ladies who frequented the salon of the marquise de Rambouillet, a Parisian refuge from the dangerous political factionism and coarse manners of the royal court... Euphuism is a mannered style of English prose, taking its name from works by John Lyly. ... Luis de Góngora, in a portrait by Diego Velázquez. ... Giambattista Marini (or Marino) (October 18, 1569 - March 25, 1625) was an Italian poet, born at Naples. ...


From the 1660s, three poets stand out. Jean de La Fontaine gained enormous celebrity through his Aesop and Phaedrus inspired "Fables" (1668-1693) which were written in an irregular verse form (different meter lengths are used in a poem). Jean Racine was seen as the greatest tragedy writer of his age. Finally, Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux became the theorizer of poetic classicism: his "Art poétique" (1674) praised reason and logic (Boileau elevated Malherbe as the first of the rational poets), believability, moral usefulness and moral correctness; it elevated tragedy and the poetic epic as the great genres and recommended imitation of the poets of antiquity. Jean de La Fontaine (July 8, 1621 – April 13, 1695) is the most famous French fabulist and probably the most widely read French poet of the 17th century. ... Aesop, as depicted in the Nuremberg Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel. ... Phaedrus, ¹ (15 B.C. – AD 50), Roman fabulist, was by birth a Macedonian and lived in the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, Gaius and Claudius. ... Jean Racine. ... Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux, commonly called Boileau, (November 1, 1636 - March 13, 1711) was a French poet and critic. ...


"Classicism" in poetry would dominate until the pre-romantics and the French Revolution.


Select list of French poets of the 17th century:

François de Malherbe François de Malherbe (1555 - October 16, 1628) was a French poet, critic and translator. ... Honoré dUrfé, marquis de Valromey, comte de Châteauneuf (February 11, 1568 - June 1, 1625), French novelist and miscellaneous writer, was born at Marseille, and was educated at the Collège de Tournon. ... Mathurin Regnier (born December 21, 1573 in Chartres, France; died October 22, 1613 in Rouen) was a French satirist. ... Philippe Desportes (1546 - October 5, 1606), French poet, was born at Chartres. ... François Maynard, sometimes seen as de Maynard, (1582 - 23 December 1646) was a French poet who spent much of his life in Toulouse. ... Honorat de Bueil, seigneur de Racan (sometimes mistakenly listed as marquis de Racan, although he never held this title) (Aubigné-Racan in the Sarthe, February 5, 1589 - Paris 1670) was a French aristocrat, soldier, poet, dramatist and (original) member of the Académie française. ... Théophile de Viau (near Agen, 1590 - Paris, 25 September 1626) was a French baroque poet and dramatist. ... François le Métel de Boisrobert (1592 - March 30, 1662), was a French poet. ... Marc Antoine Gérard, sieur de Saint-Amant (1594 - December 29, 1661), French poet, was born near Rouen. ... Jean Chapelain (December 4, 1595 - February 22, 1674) was a French poet and writer. ... Vincent Voiture (February 24, 1597 - May 26, 1648), French poet, was the son of a rich merchant of Amiens. ... Tristan lHermite was a French political and military figure of the late Middle Ages. ... Pierre Corneille (June 6, 1606–October 1, 1684) was a French tragedian tragedian who was one of the three great 17th Century French dramatists, along with Molière and Racine. ... Paul Scarron (c. ... Isaac de Benserade (baptized November 5, 1613 - October 10, 1691) was a French poet. ... Georges de Brébeuf (1618[1] - 1661[2]) was a French poet and translator most well-known for his verse translation of Lucans Pharsalia (1654) which was warmly received by Pierre Corneille, but which was ridiculed by Nicolas Boileau in his Art poétique. ... Jean de La Fontaine (July 8, 1621 – April 13, 1695) is the most famous French fabulist and probably the most widely read French poet of the 17th century. ... Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux, commonly called Boileau, (November 1, 1636 - March 13, 1711) was a French poet and critic. ... Jean Racine. ... Guillaume Amfrye de Chaulieu (1639 - June 27, 1720), French poet and wit, was born at Fontenay, Normandy. ... Jean-François Regnard (1656-1710) was a comic dramatist, born in Paris. ...

Theater

Theaters and theatrical companies

During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, public theatrical representations in Paris were under the control of guilds, but in the last decades of the sixteenth century only one of these continued to exist: although "les Confrères de la Passion" no longer had the right to perform mystery plays (1548), they were given exclusive rights to oversee all theatrical productions in the capital and rented out their theater (the Hôtel de Bourgogne) to theatrical troupes at a high price. In 1599, this guild abandonded its privilege which permitted other theaters and theatrical companies to eventually open in the capital.


In addition to public theaters, plays were produced in private residences, before the court and in the university. In the first half of the century, the public, the humanist theater of the colleges and the theater performed at court showed extremely divergent tastes. For example, while the tragicomedy was fashionable at the court in the first decade, the public was more interested in tragedy.


The early theaters in Paris were often placed in existing structures like tennis courts; their stages were extremely narrow, and facilities for sets and scene changes were often non-existent (this would encourage the development of the unity of place). Eventually, theaters would develop systems of elaborate machines and decors, fashionable for the chevaleresque flights of knights found in the tragicomedies of the first half of the century. Empty tennis courts. ... Tragicomedy (or dark comedy or black comedy) refers to fictional works that blend aspects of the genres of tragedy and comedy. ...


In the early part of the century, the theater performances took place twice a week starting at two or three o'clock. Theatrical representations often encompassed several works, beginning with a comic prologue, then a tragedy or tragicomedy, then a farce and finally a song. Nobles sometimes sat on the side of the stage during the performance. Given that it was impossible to lower the house lights, the audience was always aware of each other and spectators were notably vocal during performances. The place directly in front of the stage, without seats -- the "parterre" -- was reserved for men, but being the cheapest tickets, the parterre was usually a mix of social groups. Elegant people watched the show from the galleries. Princes, musketeers and royal pages were given free entry. Before 1630, a honest woman did not go to the theater. A musket is a muzzle-loaded, smooth-bore long gun. ...


Unlike England, France placed no restrictions on women performing on stage, but the career of actors of either sex was seen as morally wrong by the Catholic church (actors were excommunicated) and by the ascetic religious Janseanist movement. Actors typically had fantastic stage names that described typical roles or stereotypical characters. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


In addition to scripted comedies and tragedies, Parisians were also great fans of the Italian acting troupe who performed their Commedia dell'arte, a kind of improvised theater based on types. The characters from the Commedia dell'arte would have a profound effect on French theater, and one finds echoes of them in the braggarts, fools, lovers, old men and wily servants that populate French theater. Karel Dujardins set his closely-observed scene of a travelling troupes makeshift stage against idealized ruins in the Roman Campagna: dated 1657 (Louvre Museum) Commedia dellarte (Italian: play of professional artists also interpreted as comedy of humors), also known as Extemporal Comedy, was a popular form of improvisational...


Finally, it should be noted that opera came to France in the second half of the century. The Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. ...


The most important theaters and troupes in Paris:

  • Hôtel de Bourgogne - until 1629, this theater was occupied by various troupes, including the ("Comédiens du Roi") directed by Vallerin Lecomte and, at his death, by Bellerose (Pierre Le Messier). The troupe became the official "Troupe Royale" in 1629. Actors included: Turlupin, Gros-Guillaume, Gautier-Gargouille, Floridor, Monfleury, la Champmeslé.
  • Théâtre du Marais (1600-1673) - this rival theater of the Hôtel de Bourgogne housed the troupe "Vieux Comédiens du Roi" around Claude Deschamps and the troupe of Jodelet.
  • 'La troupe de Monsieur" - under the protection of Louis XIV's brother, this was Molière's first Paris troupe. They moved to several theaters in Paris (the Petit-Bourbon, the Palais-Royal) before combining in 1673 with the troupe of the Théâtre du Marais and becoming the troupe of the Hôtel Guénégaud.
  • La Comédie française - in 1689 Louis XIV united the Hôtel de Bourgogne and the Hôtel Guénégaud into one official troupe.

Outside of Paris, in the suburbs and in the provinces, there were many wandering theatrical troupes. Molière got his start in a such a troupe. The Théâtre du Marais has been the name of several theatres and theatre troupes in Paris, France. ... Gardens of the Palais-Royal: The illustration, from an 1863 guide to Paris, enlarges the apparent scale. ... Comédie-Française, late 18th century Interior view, late 18th century The Comédie-Française or Théâtre Français is the only state theater in France. ...


The royal court and other noble houses were also important organizers of theatrical representations, court ballets, mock battles and other sorts of "divertissement" for their festivities, and in the some cases the roles of dancers and actors were held by the nobles themselves. The early years at Versailles -- before the massive expansion of the residence -- were entirely consecrated to such pleasures, and similar spectacles continued throughout the reign. Engravings show Louis XIV and the court seating outside before the "Cour du marbre" of Versailles watching the performance of a play.


The great majority of scripted plays in the seventeenth century were written in verse (notable exceptions include some of Molière's comedies). Except for lyric passages in these plays, the meter used was a twelve-syllable line (the "alexandrine") with a regular pause or "cesura" after the sixth syllable; these lines were put into rhymed couplets; couplets alternated between "feminine" (i.e. ending in a mute e) and "masculine" (i.e. ending in a vowel other than a mute e, or in a consonant or a nasal) rhymes. An alexandrine is a line of poetic meter. ... A cæsura, in prosody, is an audible pause that breaks up a long line of verse. ... A couplet is a pair of lines of verse that form a unit. ...


Baroque theater

French theater from the seventeenth century is often reduced to three great names -- Pierre Corneille, Molière and Jean Racine -- and to the triumph of "classicism"; the truth is however far more complicated. Pierre Corneille (June 6, 1606–October 1, 1684) was a French tragedian tragedian who was one of the three great 17th Century French dramatists, along with Molière and Racine. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Jean Racine. ...


Theater at the beginning of the century was dominiated by the genres and dramatists of the previous generation. Most influential in this respect was Robert Garnier. Although the royal court had grown tired of the tragedy (preferring the more escapist tragicomedy), the theater going public preferred the former. This would change in the 1630s and 1640s when, influenced by the long baroque novels of the period, the tragicomedy -- a heroic and magical adventure of knights and maidens -- became the dominant genre. The amazing success of Corneille's "Le Cid" in 1637 and "Horace" in 1640 would bring the tragedy back into fashion, where it would remain for the rest of the century. Robert Garnier (c. ... In general usage a tragedy is a play, movie or sometimes a real world event with a sad outcome. ... Tragicomedy (or dark comedy or black comedy) refers to fictional works that blend aspects of the genres of tragedy and comedy. ...


The most important source for tragic theater was Seneca and the precepts of Horace and Aristotle (and modern commentaries by Julius Caesar Scaliger and Lodovico Castelvetro), although plots were taken from classical authors such as Plutarch, Suetonius, etc. and from short story collections (Italian, French and Spanish). The Greek tragic authors (Sophocles, Euripides) would become increasingly important by the middle of the century. Important models for both comedy, tragedy and tragicomedy of the century were also supplied by the Spanish playwrights Pedro Calderón de la Barca, Tirso de Molina and Lope de Vega, many of whose works were translated and adapted for the French stage. Important theatrical models were also supplied by the Italian stage (including the pastoral), and Italy was also an important source for theoretical discussions on theater, especially with regards to decorum (see for example the debates on Sperone Speroni's play Canace and Giovanni Battista Giraldi's play Orbecche).[9] Bust, traditionally thought to be Seneca, now identified by some as Hesiod. ... Horace, as imagined by Anton von Werner Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (December 8, 65 BC - November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus. ... Aristotle (Greek: AristotélÄ“s) (384 BC – March 7, 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a teacher of Plato and of Alexander the Great. ... Julius Caesar Scaliger (1484-1558), humanist scholar. ... Lodovico Castelvetro (c. ... Mestrius Plutarchus (Greek: Πλούταρχος; 46 - 127), better known in English as Plutarch, was an Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist. ... The Twelve Caesars is a set of twelve biographies of Julius Caesar and the first 11 emperors of the Roman Empire. ... Sophocles (ancient Greek: ; 495 BC - 406 BC) was the second of three great ancient Greek tragedians. ... A statue of Euripides Euripides (Greek: Ευριπίδης) (c. ... Pedro Calderon de la Barca Pedro Calderón de la Barca (January 17, 1600 – May 25, 1681), was an important dramatist of the Spanish Golden Age. ... Tirso de Molina (October, 1571 - March 12, 1648) was a Spanish dramatist and poet. ... Lope de Vega Lope de Vega (also Félix Lope de Vega Carpio or Lope Félix de Vega Carpio) (25 November 1562 – 27 August 1635) was a Spanish playwright and poet. ... Titians The Pastoral Concert Pastoral refers to the lifestyle of shepherds and pastoralists, moving livestock around larger areas of land according to seasons and availability of water and feed. ... Sperone Speroni degli Alvarotti (1500-1588) was an Italian Renaissance humanist, scholar, and dramatist. ... Giovanni Battista Giraldi (November, 1504 - December 30, 1573), surnamed Cynthitus, Cinthio or Cintio, was an Italian novelist and poet. ...


Regular comedies (i.e. comedies in five acts modeled on Plautus or Terence and the precepts of Aelius Donatus) were less frequent on the stage than tragedies and tragicomedies at the turn of the century, as the comedic element of the early stage was dominated by the farce, the satirical monologue and by the Italian commedia dell'arte. Jean Rotrou and Pierre Corneille would return to the regular comedy shortly before 1630. Titus Macchius Plautus, generally referred to simply as Plautus, was a playwright of Ancient Rome. ... Publius Terentius Afer, better known as Terence, was a comic playwright of the Roman Republic. ... Aelius Donatus (fl. ... Karel Dujardins set his closely-observed scene of a travelling troupes makeshift stage against idealized ruins in the Roman Campagna: dated 1657 (Louvre Museum) Commedia dellarte (Italian: play of professional artists also interpreted as comedy of humors), also known as Extemporal Comedy, was a popular form of improvisational... Jean Rotrou (August 19 or 20, 1609 - June, 1650) was a French poet and tragedian. ... Pierre Corneille (June 6, 1606–October 1, 1684) was a French tragedian tragedian who was one of the three great 17th Century French dramatists, along with Molière and Racine. ...


Corneille's tragedies were strangely un-tragic (his first version of "Le Cid" was even listed as a tragicomedy), for they had happy endings. In his theoretical works on theater, Corneille redefined both comedy and tragedy around the following suppositions:

  • The stage -- in both comedy and tragedy -- should feature noble characters (this would eliminate many low-characters, typical of the farce, from Corneille's comedies). Noble characters should not be depicted as vile (reprehensible actions are generally due to non-noble characters in Corneille's plays).
  • Tragedy deals with affairs of the state (wars, dynastic marriages); comedy deals with love. For a work to be tragic, it need not have a tragic ending.
  • Although Aristotle says that catharsis (purgation of emotion) should be the goal of tragedy, this is only an ideal. In conformity with the moral codes of the period, plays should not show evil being rewarded or nobilty being degraded.

The history of the public and critical reaction to Corneille's "Le Cid" can be found in other articles (he was criticized for his use of sources, for his violation of good taste, and for other irregularities that did not conform to Aristotian or Horacian rules), but its impact was stunning. Cardinal Richelieu asked the newly formed Académie française to investigate and pronounce on the criticisms (it was the Academy's first official judgement), and the controversy reveals a growing attempt to control and regulate theater and theatrical forms. This would be the beginning of seventeenth century "classicism". Aristotle (Greek: AristotélÄ“s) (384 BC – March 7, 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a teacher of Plato and of Alexander the Great. ... Catharsis is the Greek Katharsis word meaning purification or cleansing derived from the ancient Greek gerund καθαίρειν transliterated as kathairein to purify, purge, and adjective katharos pure or clean (ancient and modern Greek: καθαρός). // The term in drama refers to a sudden emotional breakdown or climax that constitutes overwhelming feelings of great... Cardinal Richelieu was the French chief minister from 1624 until his death. ... The Académie française In the French educational system an académie LAcadémie française, or the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. ...


Corneille continued to write plays through 1674 (mainly tragedies, but also something he called "heroic comedies") and many continued to be successes, although the "irregularities" of his theatrical methods were increasingly criticized (notably by François Hédelin, abbé d'Aubignac) and the success of Jean Racine from the late 1660s signaled the end of his preeminence. François Hédelin, abbé dAubignac (August 4, 1604 - July 25, 1676), French author, was born at Paris. ... Jean Racine. ...


Select list of dramatists and plays, with indication of genre (dates are often approximate, as date of publication was usually long after the date of first performance):

  • Antoine de Montchrestien (c.1575-1621)
    • Sophonisbe a/k/a La Cathaginoise a/k/a La Liberté (tragedy) - 1596
    • La Reine d'Ecosse a/k/a L'Ecossaise (tragedy) - 1601
    • Aman (tragedy) - 1601
    • La Bergerie (pastoral) - 1601
    • Hector (tragedy) - 1604
  • Jean de Schelandre (c. 1585-1635)
    • Tyr et Sidon, ou les funestes amours de Belcar et Méliane (1608)
  • Alexandre Hardy (1572-c.1632) - Hardy reputedly wrote 600 plays; only 34 have come down to us.
    • Scédase, ou l'hospitalité violée (tragedy) - 1624
    • La Force du sang (tragicomedy) - 1625 (the plot is taken from a Cervantes short story)
    • Lucrèce, ou l'Adultère puni (tragedy) - 1628
  • Honorat de Bueil, seigneur de Racan (1589-1670)
    • Les Bergeries (pastoral) - 1625
  • Théophile de Viau (1590-1626)
    • Les Amours tragiques de Pyrame et Thisbé (tragedy) - 1621
  • François le Métel de Boisrobert (1592-1662)
    • Didon la chaste ou Les Amours de Hiarbas (tragedy) - 1642
  • Jean Mairet (1604-1686)
    • La Sylve (pastoral tragicomedy) - c.1626
    • La Silvanire, ou La Morte vive (pastoral tragicomedy) - 1630
    • Les Galanteries du Duc d'Ossonne Vice-Roi de Naples (comedy) - 1632
    • La Sophonisbe (tragedy) - 1634
    • La Virginie (tragicomedy) - 1636
  • Tristan L'Hermite (1601-1655)
    • Mariamne (tragedy) - 1636
    • Penthée (tragedy) - 1637
    • La Mort de Seneque (tragedy) - 1644
    • La Mort de Crispe (tragedy) - 1645
    • The Parasite - 1653
  • Jean Rotrou (1609-1650)
    • La Bague de l'oubli (comedy) - 1629
    • La Belle Alphrède (comedy) - 1639
    • Laure persécutée (tragicomedy) - 1637
    • Le Véritable saint Genest (tragedy) - 1645
    • Venceslas (tragicomedy) - 1647
    • Cosroès (tragedy) - 1648
  • Pierre Corneille (1606-1684)
    • Mélite (comedy) - 1629
    • Clitandre (tragicomedy, later changed to tragedy) - 1631
    • La Veuve (comedy) - 1631
    • La Place Royale (comedy) - 1633
    • Médée (tragedy) - 1635
    • L'Illusion comique (comedy) - 1636
    • Le Cid (tragicomedy, later changed to tragedy) - 1637
    • Horace (tragedy) - 1640
    • Cinna (tragedy) - 1640
    • Polyeucte ("Christian" tragedy) - c.1641
    • La Mort de Pompée (tragedy) - 1642
    • Le Menteur (comedy) - 1643
    • Rodogune, princesse des Parthes (tragedy) - 1644
    • Héraclius, empereur d'Orient (tragedy) - 1647
    • Don Sanche d'Aragon ("heroic" comedy) - 1649
    • Nicomède (tragedy) - 1650
    • Sertorius (tragedy) - 1662
    • Sophonisbe (tragedy) - 1663
    • Othon (tragedy) - 1664
    • Tite et Bérénice ("heroic" comedy) - 1670
    • Suréna, général des Parthes (tragedy) - 1674
  • Pierre du Ryer (1606-1658)
    • Lucrèce (tragedy) - 1636
    • Alcione - 1638
    • Scévola (tragedy) - 1644
  • Jean Desmarets (1595-1676)
    • Les Visionnaires (comedy) - 1637
    • Erigone (prose tragedy) - 1638
    • Scipion (verse tragedy) - 1639
  • François Hédelin, abbé d'Aubignac (1604-1676)
    • La Cyminde - 1642
    • La Pucelle d'Orléans - 1642
    • Zénobie (tragedy) - 1647, written with the intention of affording a model in which the strict rules of the drama were served.
    • Le Martyre de Sainte Catherine (tragedy) - 1650
  • Paul Scarron (1610-1660)
    • Jodelet - 1645
    • Don Japhel d'Arménie - 1653
  • Isaac de Benserade (c.1613-1691)
    • Cléopâtre (tragedy) - 1635

Antoine de Montchrestien (Falaise in Normandy c. ... Jean de Schelandre (c. ... Alexandre Hardy (1569?–1631) was a French dramatist, one of the most prolific of all time. ... Honorat de Bueil, seigneur de Racan (sometimes mistakenly listed as marquis de Racan, although he never held this title) (Aubigné-Racan in the Sarthe, February 5, 1589 - Paris 1670) was a French aristocrat, soldier, poet, dramatist and (original) member of the Académie française. ... Théophile de Viau (near Agen, 1590 - Paris, 25 September 1626) was a French baroque poet and dramatist. ... François le Métel de Boisrobert (1592 - March 30, 1662), was a French poet. ... Jean (de) Mairet (bap. ... Tristan lHermite was a French political and military figure of the late Middle Ages. ... Jean Rotrou (August 19 or 20, 1609 - June, 1650) was a French poet and tragedian. ... Pierre Corneille (June 6, 1606–October 1, 1684) was a French tragedian tragedian who was one of the three great 17th Century French dramatists, along with Molière and Racine. ... Le Cid is a tragicomedy written by Pierre Corneille and published in 1636. ... Pierre du Ryer (1606 - November 6, 1658), was a French dramatist. ... Jean Desmarets (or Desmaretz), Sieur de Saint-Sorlin (1595 - October 28, 1676), French dramatist and miscellaneous writer, was born in Paris in 1595. ... François Hédelin, abbé dAubignac (August 4, 1604 - July 25, 1676), French author, was born at Paris. ... Paul Scarron (c. ... Isaac de Benserade (baptized November 5, 1613 - October 10, 1691) was a French poet. ...

Theater under Louis XIV

By the 1660s, classicism had finally imposed itself on French theater. The key theoretical work on theater from this period was François Hedelin, abbé d'Aubignac's "Pratique du théâtre" (1657), and the dictates of this work reveal to what degre "French classicism" was willing to modify the rules of classical tragedy to maintain the unities and decorum (d'Aubignac for example saw the tragedies of Oedipus and Antigone as unsuitable for the contemporary stage). François Hédelin, abbé dAubignac (August 4, 1604 - July 25, 1676), French author, was born at Paris. ... Oedipus with the Sphinx, from an Attic red-figure cylix from the Vatican Museum, ca. ... Antigone by Frederic Leighton Antigone (Eng. ...


Although Pierre Corneille continued to produce tragedies to the end of his life, the works of Jean Racine from the late 1660s on totally ecplised the late plays of the elder dramatist. Racine's tragedies -- inspired by Greek myths, Euripides, Sophocles and Seneca -- condensed their plot into a tight set of passionate and duty-bound conflicts between a small group of noble characters, and concentrated on these characters' double-binds and the geometry of their unfulfilled desires and hatreds. Racine's poetic skill was in the representation of pathos and amorous passion (like Phèdre's love for her stepson) and his impact was such that emotional crisis would be the dominant mode of tragedy to the end of the century. Racine's two late plays ("Esther" and "Athalie") opened new doors to biblical subject matter and to the use of theater in the education of young women. Pierre Corneille (June 6, 1606–October 1, 1684) was a French tragedian tragedian who was one of the three great 17th Century French dramatists, along with Molière and Racine. ... Jean Racine. ... A statue of Euripides Euripides (Greek: Ευριπίδης) (c. ... Sophocles (ancient Greek: ; 495 BC - 406 BC) was the second of three great ancient Greek tragedians. ... Bust, traditionally thought to be Seneca, now identified by some as Hesiod. ... Look up Pathos in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Phèdre was a 1677 play by Jean Racine, based on both the play Hippolytus by Euripides, and a later Roman play Phaedra by Seneca the Younger. ... Female education is a catch-all term for a complex of issues and debates surrounding education (primary education, secondary education, tertiary education and health education in particular) for females. ...


Tragedy in the last two decades of the century and the first years of the eighteenth century was dominated by productions of classics from Pierre Corneille and Racine, but on the whole the public's enthusiasm for tragedy had greatly diminished: theatrical tragedy paled beside the dark economic and demographic problems at the end of the century and the "comedy of manners" (see below) had incorporated many of the moral goals of tragedy. Other later century tragedians include: Claude Boyer, Michel Le Clerc, Jacques Pradon, Jean Galbert de Campistron, Jean de la Chapelle, Antoine d'Aubigny de la Fosse, l'abbé Charles-Claude Geneste, Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon. At the end of the century, in the plays of Crébillon in particular, there occasionally appeared a return to the theatricality of the beginning of the century: multiple episodes, extravagant fear and pity, and the representation of gruesome actions on the stage. Jacques Pradon (Rouen 1632 - Paris 1698) was a french playwright. ... Jean Galbert de Campistron (1656 - May 11, 1723), French dramatist, was born at Toulouse of noble family. ... Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon (January 15, 1674 - June 17, 1762), was a French poet and tragedian. ...


Early French opera was particularly popular with the royal court in this period, and the composer Jean-Baptiste Lully was extremely prolific (see the composer's article for more on court ballets and opera in this period). These musical works carried on in the tradition of tragicomedy (especially the "pièces à machines") and court ballet, and also occasionally presented tragic plots (or "tragédies en musique"). The dramatists that worked with Lully included Pierre Corneille and Molière, but the most important of these librettists was Philippe Quinault, a writer of comedies, tragedies, and tragicomedies. Jean-Baptiste Lully, originally Giovanni Battista Lulli (November 28, 1632–March 22, 1687), was an Italian-born French composer, who spent most of his life working in the court of Louis XIV of France. ... Pierre Corneille (June 6, 1606–October 1, 1684) was a French tragedian tragedian who was one of the three great 17th Century French dramatists, along with Molière and Racine. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Philippe Quinault (June 3, 1635 - November 26, 1688), French dramatist and librettist, was born in Paris on the 3rd of June 1635. ...


Comedy in the second half of the century was dominated by Molière. A veteran actor, master of farce, slapstick, the Italian and Spanish theater (see above), and "regular" theater modeled on Plautus and Terence, Molière's output was large and varied. He is credited with giving the French "comedy of manners" ("comédie de mœurs") and the "comedy of character ("comédie de caractère") their modern form. His hilarious satires of avaricious fathers, "précieuses", social parvenues, doctors and pompous literary types were extremely successful, but his comedies on religious hypocrisy ("Tartuffe") and libertinage ("Don Juan") brought him much criticism from the church, and "Tartuffe" was only performed through the intervention of the king. Many of Molière's comedies, like "Tartuffe", "Don Juan" and the "Le Misanthrope" could veer between farce and the darkest of dramas, and the endings of "Don Juan" and the "Misanthrope" are far from being purely comic. Molière's Les précieuses ridicules was certainly based on a earlier play by Samuel Chappuzeau, who is best known for his work "Le Theatre Francois" (1674) which contains the most detailed description of this period. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Titus Macchius Plautus, generally referred to simply as Plautus, was a playwright of Ancient Rome. ... Publius Terentius Afer, better known as Terence, was a comic playwright of the Roman Republic. ... The comedy of manners satirizes the manners and affectations of a social class, often represented by stock characters, such as the miles gloriosus in ancient times, the fop and the rake during the Restoration, or an old person pretending to be young. ... The literary style called préciosité (preciousness) arose from the lively conversations and playful word games of les précieuses the witty and educated intellectual ladies who frequented the salon of the marquise de Rambouillet, a Parisian refuge from the dangerous political factionism and coarse manners of the royal court... Tartuffe is a comedy by Molière, and is one of the most famous French plays of all time. ... Don Juan is a legendary fictional libertine, whose story has been told many times by different authors. ... Le Misanthrope is a 17th century comedy of manners written by French playwright Molière. ... // Samuel Chappuzeau(1625-1701) was a French scholar, author, poet and playwright whose best-known work today is Le Théâtre François, a description of French Theatre in the 17th century. ...


Comedy to the end of the century would continue on the paths traced by Molière: the satire of contemporary morals and manners and the "regular" comedy would dominate, and the last great "comedy" of Louis XIV's reign, Alain-René Lesage's "Turcaret", is an immensely dark play in which almost no character shows redeaming traits. Alain-René Lesage (May 8, 1668 – November 17, 1747) was a French novelist and playwright born at Sarzeau, Brittany. ...


Select list of French theater after 1659:

  • Molière (pseudonym of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin) (1622-1673)
  • Thomas Corneille (1625-1709) - brother of Pierre Corneille
    • Timocrate (tragedy) - 1659, the longest run (80 nights) recorded of any play in the century
    • Ariane (tragedy) - 1672
    • Circée (tragicomedy) - 1675 (cowritten with Donneau de Visé)
    • La Devineresse (comedy) - 1679 (cowritten with Donneau de Visé)
    • Bellérophon (opéra) - 1679
  • Philippe Quinault (1635-1688).
    • Alceste (musical tragedy) - 1674
    • Proserpine (musical tragedy) - 1680
    • Amadis de Gaule (musical tragicomedy) - 1684, based on the Renaissance chivalric novel
    • Armide (musical tragicomedy) - 1686, based on Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered
  • Jean Racine (1639-1699)
    • Andromaque (tragedy) - 1667
    • Les plaideurs (comedy) - 1668, Racine's only comedy
    • Bérénice (tragedy) - 1670
    • Bajazet (tragedy) - 1672
    • Iphigénie en Aulide (tragedy) - 1674
    • Phèdre (tragedy) - 1677
    • Britannicus (tragedy) - 1689
    • Esther (tragedy) - 1689
    • Athalie (tragedy) - 1691
  • Jacques Pradon (1632-1698)
    • Pyrame et Thisbé (tragedy) - 1674
    • Tamerlan, ou la mort de Bajazet (tragedy) - 1676
    • Phèdre et Hippolyte (tragedy) - 1677, this play, released at the same time as Racine's, had a momentary success
  • Jean-François Regnard (1655-1709)
    • Le Joueur (comedy) - 1696
    • Le Distrait (comedy) - 1697
  • Jean Galbert de Campistron (1656-1723)
    • Andronic (tragedy) - 1685
    • Tiridate (tragedy) - 1691
  • Florent Carton Dancourt (1661-1725)
    • Le Chevalier à la mode (comedy) - 1687
    • Les Bourgeoises à la mode (comedy) - 1693
    • Les Bourgeoises de qualité (comedy) - 1700
  • Alain-René Lesage (1668-1747)
    • Turcaret (comedy) - 1708
  • Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon (1674-1762)
    • Idomnée (tragedy) - 1705
    • Atrée et Thyeste (tragedy) - 1707
    • Electre (tragedy) - 1709
    • Rhadamiste et Zénobie (tragedy) - 1711
    • Xerxes (tragedy) - 1714
    • Sémiramis (tragedy) -1717

This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Les Précieuses ridicules (1659) is a one-act satire of the Précieuses, written by Molière. ... Lécole des femmes (The School for Wives) is a theatrical comedy written by Molière. ... Tartuffe is a comedy by Molière, and is one of the most famous French plays of all time. ... Don Juan is a legendary fictional libertine, whose story has been told many times by different authors. ... Le Misanthrope is a 17th century comedy of manners written by French playwright Molière. ... LAvare is a five-act satirical comedy by French playwright Molière. ... Thomas Corneille at the age of 81 Thomas Corneille (August 20, 1625 - December 8, 1709) was a French dramatist. ... Pierre Corneille (June 6, 1606–October 1, 1684) was a French tragedian tragedian who was one of the three great 17th Century French dramatists, along with Molière and Racine. ... Jean Donneau de Visé (1638 - 1710) was a French journalist, royal historian (historiographe du roi), playwright and publicist. ... Jean Donneau de Visé (1638 - 1710) was a French journalist, royal historian (historiographe du roi), playwright and publicist. ... Philippe Quinault (June 3, 1635 - November 26, 1688), French dramatist and librettist, was born in Paris on the 3rd of June 1635. ... Amadis or Amadis de Gaule (Amadis of Gaul) is a tragédie en musique in a prologue and five acts by Jean-Baptiste Lully to a libretto by Philippe Quinault based on Nicolas Herberay des Essarts adaptation of Garci Rodríguez de Montalvos Amadis de Gaula. ... Armide is an opera by Jean-Baptiste Lully. ... Torquato Tasso (March 11, 1544 - April 25, 1595) was an Italian poet of the 16th century, best known for his poem La Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered; 1575), in which he describes the imaginary combats between Christians and Muslims at the end of the First Crusade, during the siege of Jerusalem. ... Jerusalem Delivered (La Gerusalemme liberata) (1580) is a baroque epic poem by Torquato Tasso which tells the (largely fictionalized) story of the First Crusade in which Christians knights, lead by Godfrey of Bouillon, battle Muslims in order to raise the siege of Jerusalem. ... Jean Racine. ... Bérénice is a tragedy by the French 17th-century playwright Jean Racine. ... Phèdre was a 1677 play by Jean Racine, based on both the play Hippolytus by Euripides, and a later Roman play Phaedra by Seneca the Younger. ... Britannicus (41 - 55 A.D.) was the son of the Roman emperor Claudius and his third wife Messalina. ... Jacques Pradon (Rouen 1632 - Paris 1698) was a french playwright. ... Jean-François Regnard (1656-1710) was a comic dramatist, born in Paris. ... Jean Galbert de Campistron (1656 - May 11, 1723), French dramatist, was born at Toulouse of noble family. ... Florent Carton Dancourt (November 1, 1661 - December 7, 1725), French dramatist and actor, was born at Fontainebleau. ... Alain-René Lesage (May 8, 1668 – November 17, 1747) was a French novelist and playwright born at Sarzeau, Brittany. ... Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon (January 15, 1674 - June 17, 1762), was a French poet and tragedian. ...

Other genres

Briefly, here are some of the other literary achievements of the period.


Moral and philosophical reflection


The seventeenth century was dominated by a profound moral and religious fervor unleashed by the Counter-Reformation. Of all literary works, books of devotion were the number one best sellers of the century. New religious organisations swept the country (see for example the work of Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Francis de Sales). The preacher Louis Bourdaloue (1632-1704) was famous for his sermons. The theologian and orator Jacques-Benigne Bossuet (1627-1704) composed a number of celebrated funeral orations. The Counter-Reformation or the Catholic Reformation was a strong reaffirmation of the doctrine and structure of the Catholic Church, climaxing at the Council of Trent, partly in reaction to the growth of Protestantism. ... Saint Vincent de Paul (April 24, 1580 – September 27, 1660) was born at Pouy, Landes, Gascony, France to a peasant family. ... Saint Francis de Sales (in French, St François de Sales) (1567-1622), seventeenth-century bishop of Geneva and Roman Catholic saint, was born at Thorens into a Savoyard noble family on 21 August 1567. ... Louis Bourdaloue (August 20, 1632 - May 13, 1704), French Jesuit and preacher, was born at Bourges. ... Theology (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογια, logia, words, sayings, or discourse) is reasoned discourse concerning religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... Jacques-Benigne Bossuet (September 27, 1627 - April 12, 1704) was a French bishop, theologian, and court preacher. ...


Nevertheless, the century had a number of writers who were considered "libertine"; these writers (like Théophile de Viau (1590-1626) and Charles de Saint-Evremond (1610-1703)), inspired by Epicurus and the publication of Petronius, professed doubts on religious or moral matters in a period of increasingly reactionary religious fervor. Libertine has come to mean one free from restraint, particularly from social and religious norms and morals. ... Théophile de Viau (near Agen, 1590 - Paris, 25 September 1626) was a French baroque poet and dramatist. ... Charles de Marguetel de Saint-Denis, seigneur de Saint- vremond (April 1, 1610 - September 29, 1703), was born at Saint-Denis-le-Guast, near Coutances, the seat of his family in Normandy. ... Roman marble bust of Epicurus Epicurus (Epikouros or in Greek) (341 BC, Samos – 270 BC, Athens) was an ancient Greek philosopher, the founder of Epicureanism, one of the most popular schools of thought in Hellenistic Philosophy. ... Petronius (c. ...


René Descartes' (1596-1650) "Discours de la méthode" (1637) and "Méditations" marked a complete break with medieval philosophical reflection. René Descartes (March 31, 1596 – February 11, 1650), also known as Renatus Cartesius (latinized form), was a highly influential French philosopher, mathematician, scientist, and writer. ...


An outgrowth of counter reformation catholicism, Jansenism advocated a profound moral and spiritual interrogation of the soul. This movement would attract writers such as Blaise Pascal and Jean Racine, but would eventually come under attack as being heretical (they maintained a doctrine bordering on predestination), and their monastery at Port-Royal was suppressed. Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was a great satirist for their cause (in his "Lettres provinciales" (1656-57)), but his greatest moral and religious work was his unfinished and fragmentary collection of thoughts justifying the Christian religion called "Les Pensées" ("The Thoughts") (the most famous section being his discussion of the "pari" or "wager" on the possible eternity of the soul). Jansenism was a branch of Catholic thought tracing itself back to Cornelius Otto Jansen (1585 – 1638), a Flemish theologian. ... Jean Racine. ... An illustration of pre-1692 Port Royal Port Royal was the centre of shipping commerce in Jamaica in the 17th century. ... Blaise Pascal (pronounced ), (June 19, 1623–August 19, 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. ... The Lettres provinciales (Provincial letters) are a series of eighteen letters written by French philosopher and theologian Blaise Pascal under the pseudonym Louis de Montalte. ... The Pensées (literally, thoughts) represented an apology for the Christian religion by Blaise Pascal, the renowned 17th century philosopher and mathematician. ... Blaise Pascal argued that it is a better bet to believe in God than not to do so. ...


Another outgrowth of the religious fervor of the period was "Quietism" which taught practitioners a kind of spiritual trance state. Quietism is a Christian philosophy that swept through France, Italy and Spain during the 17th century, but it had much earlier origins. ...


François de la Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) wrote a collection of prose "Maximes" ("maxims") (1665) that analyzed human actions with a severe moral pessimism. Jean de La Bruyère (1645-1696) -- inspired by Theophrastus's characters, composed his own collection of "Characters" (1688), describing contemporary moral types. François de La Mothe-Le-Vayer wrote numerous pedagogical works for the education of the royal prince. François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld, le Prince de Marcillac (September 15, 1613 - March 17, 1680), was the greatest maxim writer of France, one of her best memoir writers, and perhaps the most complete and accomplished representative of her ancient nobility. ... Jean de La Bruyère (August 16, 1645 - May 10, 1696), was a French essayist and moralist. ... Theophrastus (Greek Θεόφραστος, 370 — about 285 BC), a native of Eressos in Lesbos, was the successor of Aristotle in the Peripatetic school. ... François de La Mothe-Le-Vayer (1588 - 1672) was a French writer. ...


Pierre Bayle's "Dictionnaire historique et critique" (1695-1697; enlarged 1702) with its multiplicity of marginalia and interpretations offered a uniquely discursive and multifaceted view of knowledge (distinctly at odds with French classicism) and would be a major inspiration for the Enlightenment and Diderot's Encyclopédie. Pierre Bayle. ... Marginalia is the general term for notes, scribbles, doodles and editorial comments made in the margin of a book. ... The Age of Enlightenment (from the German word Aufklärung, meaning Enlightenment) refers to eighteenth century in European and American philosophy, or the longer period including the seventeenth century and the Age of Reason. ... Denis Diderot Denis Diderot (October 5, 1713 - July 31, 1784) was a French writer and philosopher. ... The neutrality of this article is disputed. ...


Mémoires and Letters


The seventeenth century is the century of biographical "mémoires". The first great outpouring of these comes from the participants of the Fronde (like the Cardinal de Retz) who used the genre as a form of political justification combined with novelistic adventure. The Fronde (1648–1653) was a civil war in France, followed by the Franco-Spanish War (1653). ... Jean François Paul de Gondi, cardinal de Retz (1614 - August 24, 1679), French churchman and agitator, was born at Montmirail. ...


Roger de Rabutin, Comte de Bussy (called "Bussy-Rabutin") is responsible for the scandalous "Histoire amoureuse des Gaules", a series of sketches of the amorous intrigues of the chief ladies of the court. Paul Pellisson, historian to the king, wrote a "Histoire de Louis XIV" covering the years 1660 to 1670. Gédéon Tallemant des Réaux wrote "Les Historiettes", a collection of short biographical sketches of his contemporaries. Roger de Rabutin, Comte de Bussy (April 13, 1618 - April 9, 1693), commonly known as Bussy-Rabutin, was a French memoir-writer. ... Paul Pellisson (October 30, 1624 - February 7, 1693) was a French author. ... Gédéon Tallemant, Sieur Des Réaux (7 November 1619 - 6 November 1692), was a French writer known for his Historiettes, a collection of short biographies. ...


Jean-Louis Guez de Balzac's collected letters are credited with executing in French prose a reform parallel to Francois de Malherbe's in verse. Madame de Sévigné's (1626-1696) letters are considered an important document of society and literary happenings under Louis XIV. The most celebrated Mémoires of the century were not published until over a century later, those of Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon (1675-1755). Jean-Louis Guez de Balzac (1594 - February 18, 1654) was a French author. ... Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, marquise de Sévigné (February 5, 1626 – April 17, 1696), French letter-writer, was born at Paris. ... Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon (January 16, 1675 - March 2, 1755), French soldier, diplomatist and writer of memoirs, was born at Versailles. ...


References

General:

  • Adam, Antoine. Histoire de la littérature française au XVIIe siècle. First published 1954-56. 3 vols. Paris: Albin Michel, 1997.
  • Dandrey, Patrick, ed. Dictionnaire des lettres françaises: Le XVIIe siècle. Collection: La Pochothèque. Paris: Fayard, 1996.

Prose:

  • Adam, Antoine, ed. Romanciers du XVIIe siècle. (An anthology). Collection: Bibliothèque de la Pléiade. Paris: Gallimard, 1958.
  • Coulet, Henri. Le roman jusqu'à la Révolution. Paris: Colin, 1967. ISBN 2-200-25117-3

Poetry:

  • Allem, Maurice, ed. Anthologie poétique française: XVIIe siècle. Paris: Garnier Frères, 1966.

Theater:

  • Scherer, Jacques, ed. Théâtre du XVIIe siècle. (An anthology). Collection: Bibliothèque de la Pléiade. Paris: Gallimard, 1975.

Notes

  1. ^ Viala, Alain. Naissance de l'écrivain. Paris: Minuit, 1985, p.145 and pp.240-246.
  2. ^ Solnon, Jean-François. La Cour de France. Paris: Fayard, 1987. Chapter VIII.
  3. ^ Dandry, op. cit., 1149-1142.
  4. ^ Viala. op.cit. Viala's first chapter is entirely devoted to these academies. By his count, 70 were created during the 17th century.
  5. ^ This kind of expenditure mandated by social status has been studied by sociologists such as Norbert Elias (The Court Society. First English language edition: Oxford: Blackwell, 1983.); there are also many links to the theories of sociologist Marcel Mauss on the "gift". Another key analysis of these values can be found in the work of Paul Bénichou (Morales du Grand siècle. Paris: Gallimard, 1948.).
  6. ^ The classic, albeit outdately judgemental, book on these early novels is: Reynier, Gustave. Le Roman sentimental avant l'Astrée. Paris: Corti, 1908.
  7. ^ The classic work on the "nouvelle classique" is:Godenne, René. Histoire de la nouvelle française aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles. Publications romanes et françaises, 108. Geneva : Droz, 1970.
  8. ^ The classic on the "précieuses" is: Bray, René. La préciosité et les précieux, de Thibaut de Champagne à Giraudoux. Paris: 1960. Much recent scholarship has been published, such as: Backer, Dorothy. Precious Women: A Feminist Phenomenon in the Age of Louis XIV. New York: Basic Books, 1974.
  9. ^ See, among other works: Bray, René. La formation de la doctrine classique en France. Paris: Hachette, 1927. For an analysis of theatre development in the Renaissance, see: Reiss. Timothy. "Renaissance theatre and the theory of tragedy." The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Volume III: The Renaissance. pp.229-247. ISBN 0-521-30008-8

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