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Encyclopedia > Jean de La Fontaine
Engraving by Étienne-Jehandier Desrochers
Engraving by Étienne-Jehandier Desrochers

Jean de La Fontaine (July 8, 1621April 13, 1695) was the most famous French fabulist and probably the most widely read French poet of the 17th century. According to Flaubert, he was the only French poet to understand and master the texture of the French language before Hugo. A set of postage stamps celebrating La Fontaine and the Fables was issued by France in 1995. A film of his life has been released in France in April 2007 (Jean de La Fontaine - le défi starring Laurent Deutsch). Image File history File links Size of this preview: 557 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (743 × 800 pixel, file size: 183 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Permission Other versions See Image:Jean de la Fontaine. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 557 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (743 × 800 pixel, file size: 183 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Permission Other versions See Image:Jean de la Fontaine. ... Étienne-Jehandier Desrochers (1668, Lyon – 1741, Paris) was a French engraver best known for his miniature portraits of his contemporaries. ... is the 189th day of the year (190th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1621 was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 103rd day of the year (104th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Jan. ... In its strict sense a fable is a short story or folk tale embodying a moral, which may be expressed explicitly at the end as a maxim. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... Gustave Flaubert Gustave Flaubert (December 12, 1821 – Croisset, May 8, 1880) is counted among the greatest Western novelists. ... French (français, langue française) is one of the most important Romance languages, outnumbered in speakers only by Spanish and Portuguese. ... Victor-Marie Hugo (pronounced in French) (26 February 1802 — 22 May 1885) was a French poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights campaigner, and perhaps the most influential exponent of the Romantic movement in France. ... A selection of Hong Kong postage stamps A postage stamp is evidence of pre-paying a fee for postal services. ...

Contents

Biography

Early years

La Fontaine was born at Château-Thierry in Champagne. His father was Charles de La Fontaine, maître des eaux et forets - a kind of deputy-ranger - of the duchy of Chateau-Thierry; his mother was Françoise Pidoux. Both sides his family were of the highest provincial middle class, but were not noble; his father was also fairly wealthy. Château-Thierry is a commune of north-eastern France, about 56 miles east-northeast of Paris. ... Location of the Champagne province in France Champagne (archaic English: ) is a historic wine region in the northeast of France, best known for the production of the sparkling white wine that bears the regions name. ... Ch teau-Thierry is a commune of north-eastern France, about 56 miles east-northeast of Paris. ... The middle class (or middle classes) comprises a social group once defined by exception as an intermediate social class between the nobility and the peasantry. ...


Jean, the eldest child, was educated at the collège (grammar school) of Reims, and at the end of his school days he entered the Oratory in May 1641, and the seminary of Saint-Magloire in October of the same year; but a very short sojourn proved to him that he had mistaken his vocation. He then apparently studied law, and is said to have been admitted as avocat (lawyer). College (Latin collegium) is a term most often used today to denote an educational institution. ... Reims (alternative English spelling Rheims; pronounced in French) is a city of the Champagne-Ardenne région of northern France, standing 144 km (89 miles) east-northeast of Paris. ...


Family life

He was, however, settled in life, or at least might have been so, somewhat early. In 1647 his father resigned his rangership in his favor, and arranged a marriage for him with Marie Héricart, a girl of fourteen, who brought him twenty thousand livres, and expectations. She seems to have been both beautiful and intelligent, but the two did not get on well together. There appears to be absolutely no ground for the vague scandal as to her conduct, which was, for the most part, raised long afterwards by gossips or personal enemies of La Fontaine. All that can be positively said against her is that she was a negligent housewife and an inveterate novel reader; La Fontaine himself was constantly away from home, was certainly not strict in point of conjugal fidelity, and was so bad a man of business that his affairs became involved in hopeless difficulty, and a separation de biens had to take place in 1658. This was a perfectly amicable transaction for the benefit of the family; by degrees, however, the pair, still without any actual quarrel, ceased to live together, and for the greater part of the last forty years of La Fontaine's life he lived in Paris while his wife dwelt at Chateau Thierry, which, however, he frequently visited. One son was born to them in 1653, and was educated and taken care of wholly by his mother. 1647 (MDCXLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... Events January 13 - Edward Sexby, who had plotted against Oliver Cromwell, dies in Tower of London February 6 - Swedish troops of Charles X Gustav of Sweden cross The Great Belt (Storebælt) in Denmark over frozen sea May 1 - Publication of Hydriotaphia, Urn Burial and The Garden of Cyrus by... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) The Eiffel Tower in Paris, as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ...


Literary career in Paris

Even in the earlier years of his marriage La Fontaine seems to have been much in Paris, but it was not until about 1656 that he became a regular visitor to the capital. The duties of his office, which were only occasional, were compatible with this non-residence. It was not until he was past thirty that his literary career began. The reading of Malherbe, it is said, first awoke poetical fancies in him, but for some time he attempted nothing but trifles in the fashion of the time - epigrams, ballades, rondeaux, etc. François de Malherbe François de Malherbe (1555 - October 16, 1628) was a French poet, critic and translator. ... An epigram is a short poem with a clever twist at the end or a concise and witty statement. ... The ballade was a verse form consisting of three (sometimes five) stanzas, each with the same metre, rhyme scheme and last line, with a shorter concluding stanza (an envoi). ... A Rondeau is a form of French poetry with 13 lines written on two rhymes, as well as a corresponding musical form developed to set this characteristic verse structure. ...


His first serious work was a translation or adaptation of the Eunuchus of Terence (1654). At this time the Maecenas of French letters was the Superintendent Fouquet, to whom La Fontaine was introduced by Jacques Jannart, a connection of his wife's. Few people who paid their court to Fouquet went away empty-handed, and La Fontaine soon received a pension of 1000 livres (1659), on the easy terms of a copy of verses for each quarters receipt. He also began a medley of prose and poetry, entitled Le Songe de Vaux, on Fouquet's famous country house. Publius Terentius Afer, better known as Terence, was a comic playwright of the Roman Republic. ... Nicolas Fouquet (1615 — March 23, 1680) was viscount of Melun and of Vaux, marquis of Belle-Isle, superintendent of finance in France under Louis XIV. Born in Paris, he belonged to an influential family of the noblesse de robe, and after some preliminary schooling with the Jesuits, at the... Vaux-le-vicomte was in many ways the most important work built before Louis XIV came to power. ...


It was about this time that his wife's property had to be separately secured to her, and he seems by degrees to have had to sell everything that he owned; but, as he never lacked powerful and generous patrons, this was of small importance to him. In the same year he wrote a ballad, Les Rieurs du Beau-Richard, and this was followed by many small pieces of occasional poetry addressed to various personages from the king downwards.


Fouquet soon incurred the royal displeasure, but La Fontaine, like most of his literary proteges, was not unfaithful to him, the well-known elegy Pleurez, Nymphes de Vaux, being by no means the only proof of his devotion. Indeed it is thought not improbable that a journey to Limoges in 1663 in company with Jannart, and of which we have an account written to his wife, was not wholly spontaneous, as it certainly was not on Jannart's part. This article is about the French commune. ...


Just at this time his affairs did not look promising. His father and he had assumed the title of esquire, to which they were not strictly entitled, and, some old edicts on the subject having been put in force, an informer procured a sentence against the poet fining him 2000 livres. He found, however, a new protector in the duke and still more in the duchess of Bouillon, his feudal superiors at Chateau Thierry, and nothing more is heard of the fine. Esquire (abbreviated Esq. ... Arms of Godefroy Charles Henri de La Tour dAuvergne, duc de Bouillon, Albret, et Chateau-Thierry (1728-1792) La Tour dAuvergne was a French noble family. ...


Some of La Fontaine's liveliest verses are addressed to the duchess, Marie Anne Mancini, the youngest of Mazarin's nieces, and it is even probable that the taste of the duke and duchess for Ariosto had something to do with the writing of his first work of real importance, the first book of the Contes, which appeared in 1664. He was then forty-three years old, and his previous printed productions had been comparatively trivial, though much of his work was handed about in manuscript long before it was regularly published. Marie Anne Mancini (Rome, 1649 - Paris, 1714), niece of Cardinal Mazarin, was the youngest of the five Mancini sisters. ... Cardinal Jules Mazarin, French diplomat and statesman Jules Mazarin, born Giulio Raimondo Mazzarino; but best known as Cardinal Mazarin (July 14, 1602 – March 9, 1661) served as the chief minister of France from 1642, until his death. ... Ludovico Ariosto (September 8, 1474 _ July 6, 1533) was a Ferrarese poet, author of the epic poem Orlando furioso (1516), Orlando Enraged. He was born at Reggio, in Hungary in 1518, and wished Aniosto to accompany him. ... Events March 12 - New Jersey becomes a colony of England. ...


The years of fame

It was about this time that the quartet of the Rue du Vieux Colombier, so famous in French literary history, was formed. It consisted of La Fontaine, Racine, Boileau and Molière, the last of whom was almost of the same age as La Fontaine, the other two considerably younger. Chapelain was also a kind of outsider in the coterie. There are many anecdotes, some pretty obviously apocryphal, about these meetings. The most characteristic is perhaps that which asserts that a copy of Chapelain's unlucky Pucelle always lay on the table, a certain number of lines of which was the appointed punishment for offences against the company. The coterie furnished under feigned names the personages of La Fontaine's version of the Cupid and Psyche story, which, however, with Adonis, was not printed till 1669. Racine is the name of several communities in the United States of America: Racine, Wisconsin, the largest Racine Racine, Minnesota Racine, Missouri Racine, Ohio Racine, West Virginia Racine County, Wisconsin Jean Racine was a 17th century French dramatist. ... Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux, commonly called Boileau, (November 1, 1636 - March 13, 1711) was a French poet and critic. ... Molière, engraved on the frontispiece to his Works. ... Jean Chapelain (December 4, 1595 _ February 22, 1674) was a French poet and writer. ... The Abduction of Psyche by William-Adolphe Bouguereau The Tale of Cupid and Psyche first appeared as a digressionary story told by an old woman in Lucius Apuleius novel, The Golden Ass, written in the second century A.D.. Apuleius probably used an earlier tale as the basis for his... Adonis is an archetypal life-death-rebirth deity in Greek mythology, and a central cult figure in various mystery religions. ...


Meanwhile the poet continued to find friends. In 1664 he was regularly commissioned and sworn in as gentleman to the duchess dowager of Orleans, and was installed in the Luxembourg. He still retained his rangership, and in 1666 we have something like a reprimand from Colbert suggesting that he should look into some malpractices at Chateau Thierry. In the same year appeared the second book of the Contes, and in 1668 the first six books of the Fables, with more of both kinds in 1671. In this latter year a curious instance of the docility with which the poet lent himself to any influence was afforded by his officiating, at the instance of the Port-Royalists, as editor of a volume of sacred poetry dedicated to the prince de Conti. Colbert is the surname of: Stephen Colbert, American comedian, plays Stephen Colbert (character) on The Colbert Report Robert Colbert, American television actor and star of The Time Tunnel Richard Colbert, spammer Levi Colbert, Chickasaw leader Keary Colbert, American football player Nate Colbert. ... An illustration of pre-1692 Port Royal Port Royal was the centre of shipping commerce in Jamaica in the 17th century. ... Conti can refer to: an abbreviation for the German Continental Rubber Corporation. ...


A year afterwards his situation, which had for some time been decidedly flourishing, showed signs of changing very much for the worse. The duchess of Orleans died, and he apparently had to give up his rangership, probably selling it to pay debts. But there was always a providence for La Fontaine. Madame de la Sablière, a woman of great beauty, of considerable intellectual power and of high character, invited him to make his home in her house, where he lived for some twenty years. He seems to have had no trouble whatever about his affairs thenceforward; and could devote himself to his two different lines of poetry, as well as to that of theatrical composition. Marguerite de la Sablière (c. ...


Admission to the Academy and attendant struggles

In 1682 he was, at more than sixty years of age, recognized as one of the first men of letters of France. Madame de Sévigné, one of the soundest literary critics of the time, and by no means given to praise mere novelties, had spoken of his second collection of Fables published in the winter of 1678 as divine; and it is pretty certain that this was the general opinion. It was not unreasonable, therefore, that he should present himself to the Académie française, and, though the subjects of his Contes were scarcely calculated to propitiate that decorous assembly, while his attachment to Fouquet and to more than one representative of the old Frondeur party made him suspect to Colbert and the king, most of the members were his personal friends. Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, marquise de Sévigné (February 5, 1626 – April 17, 1696), French letter-writer, was born at Paris. ... 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. ... The Fronde (1648–1653) was a civil war in France, followed by the Franco-Spanish War (1653). ...

Portrait of Jean de La Fontaine
Portrait of Jean de La Fontaine

He was first proposed in 1682, but was rejected for Marquis de Dangeau. The next year Colbert died and La Fontaine was again nominated. Boileau was also a candidate, but the first ballot gave the fabulist sixteen votes against seven only for the critic. The king, whose assent was necessary, not merely for election but for a second ballot in case of the failure of an absolute majority, was ill-pleased, and the election was left pending. Another vacancy occurred, however, some months later, and to this Boileau was elected. The king hastened to approve the choice effusively, adding, Vous pouvez incessamment recevoir La Fontaine, il a promis d'etre sage. Download high resolution version (621x660, 118 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (621x660, 118 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Philippe de Courcillon, Marquis de Dangeau (born September 21, 1638 in Chartres; died September 9, 1720) was a French officer. ...


His admission was indirectly the cause of the only serious literary quarrel of his life. A dispute took place between the Academy and one of its members, Antoine Furetière, on the subject of the latter's French dictionary, which was decided to be a breach of the Academy's corporate privileges. Furetire, a man of no small ability, bitterly assailed those whom he considered to be his enemies, and among them La Fontaine, whose unlucky Contes made him peculiarly vulnerable, his second collection of these tales having been the subject of a police condemnation. The death of the author of the Roman Bourgeois, however, put an end to this quarrel. Antoine Furetière (December 28, 1619 - May 14, 1688), French scholar and miscellaneous writer, was born in Paris. ...


Shortly afterwards La Fontaine had a share in a still more famous affair, the celebrated Ancient-and-Modern squabble in which Boileau and Charles Perrault were the chiefs, and in which La Fontaine (though he had been specially singled out by Perrault for favorable comparison with Aesop and Phaedrus) took the Ancient side. About the same time (1685-1687) he made the acquaintance of the last of his many hosts and protectors, Monsieur and Madame d'Hervart, and fell in love with a certain Madame Ulrich, a lady of some position but of doubtful character. This acquaintance was accompanied by a great familiarity with Vendome, Chaulieu and the rest of the libertine coterie of the Temple; but, though Madame de la Sablière had long given herself up almost entirely to good works and religious exercises, La Fontaine continued an inmate of her house until her death in 1693. 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 6, 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... Aesop, as depicted in the Nuremberg Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel in 1493. ... 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. ...


What followed is told in one of the best known of the many stories bearing on his childlike nature. Hervart on hearing of the death, had set out at once to find La Fontaine. He met him in the street in great srrow, and begged him to make his home at his house. J'y allais was La Fontaines answer. He had already undergone the process of conversion during a severe illness the year before. An energetic young priest, M. Poucet, had brought him, not indeed to understand, but to acknowledge the impropriety of the Contes, and it is said that the destruction of a new play of some merit was demanded and submitted to as a proof of repentance.


A pleasant story is told of the young duke of Burgundy, Fenelon's pupil, who was then only eleven years old, sending 50 louis to La Fontaine as a present of his own motion. But, though La Fontaine recovered for the time, he was broken by age and infirmity, and his new hosts had to nurse rather than to entertain him, which they did very carefully and kindly. He did a little more work, completing his Fables among other things; but he did not survive Madame de la Sablière much more than two years, dying on 13 April, 1695, at the age of seventy-three. When the Père Lachaise Cemetery opened in Paris, Lafontaine's remains were moved there. His wife survived him nearly fifteen years. François de Salignac de la Mothe, more commonly known as François Fénelon (1651 - 1715), was a French Roman Catholic theologian, poet and writer. ... is the 103rd day of the year (104th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Looking down the hill at Père Lachaise. ...


Anecdotes

The curious personal character of La Fontaine, like that of some other men of letters, has been enshrined in a kind of legend by literary tradition. At an early age his absence of mind and indifference to business gave a subject to Gédéon Tallemant des Réaux. His later contemporaries helped to swell the tale, and the 18th century finally accepted it, including the anecdotes of his meeting his son, being told who he was, and remarking, Ah, yes, I thought I had seen him somewhere!, of his insisting on fighting a duel with a supposed admirer of his wife, and then imploring him to visit at his house just as before; of his going into company with his stockings wrong side out, &c., with, for a contrast, those of his awkwardness and silence, if not positive rudeness in company. Gédéon Tallemant, Sieur Des Réaux (7 November 1619 - 6 November 1692), was a French writer known for his Historiettes, a collection of short biographies. ...


It ought to be remembered, as a comment on the unfavourable description by Jean de La Bruyère, that La Fontaine was a special friend and ally of Benserade, La Bruyere's chief literary enemy. But after all deductions much will remain, especially when it is remembered that one of the chief authorities for these anecdotes is Louis Racine, a man who possessed intelligence and moral worth, and who received them from his father, La Fontaine's attached friend for more than thirty years. Perhaps the best worth recording of all these stories is one of the Vieux Colombier quartet, which tells how Molière, while Racine and Boileau were exercising their wits upon le bonhomme or le bon (by both which titles La Fontaine was familiarly known), remarked to a bystander, Nos beaux esprits ont beau faire, ils n'effaceront pas le bonhomme. They have not. Jean de La Bruyère (August 16, 1645 - May 10, 1696), was a French essayist and moralist. ... Isaac de Benserade (baptized November 5, 1613 - October 10, 1691) was a French poet. ... Louis Racine (November 6, 1692 - January 29, 1763), was a French poet. ...


La Fontaine's works

The works of La Fontaine, the total bulk of which is considerable, fall no less naturally than traditionally into three divisions, the Fables, the Contes and the miscellaneous works. Of these the first may be said to be known universally, the second to be known to all lovers of French literature, the third to be with a few exceptions practically forgotten.

18th-century illustration to La Fontaine's fable The Sculptor and the Statue of Jupiter.
18th-century illustration to La Fontaine's fable The Sculptor and the Statue of Jupiter.

The Fables exhibit the versatility and fecundity of the author's talent perhaps more fully than any of his other work. La Fontaine had many predecessors in the fable, especially in the beast fable. The poet took inspiration from Aesop, Horace, and ancient Indian literature, such as the Panchatantra: Image File history File links Download high resolution version (480x640, 78 KB)Charles-Nicolas Cochin (1715-90). ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (480x640, 78 KB)Charles-Nicolas Cochin (1715-90). ... Look up beast in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For a comparison of fable with other kinds of stories, see Myth, legend, fairy tale, and fable. ... Aesop, as depicted in the Nuremberg Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel in 1493. ... 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. ... Indian literature is generally acknowledged, but not wholly established, as the oldest in the world. ... The Panchatantra [1][2][3] (also spelled Pañcatantra, Sanskrit पञ्चतन्त्र Five Chapters) or Kelileh va Dimneh or Anvar-i-Suhayli [4][5] or The Lights of Canopus (in Persian)[6] or Kalilag and Damnag (in Syriac)[7] or Kalila and Dimna (also Kalilah and Dimnah, Arabic كليلة و دمنة Kalila wa Dimna)[8...

"This is the second book of fables that I present to the public... I must acknowledge that the greatest part is inspired by Pilpay, the Indian sage." ("Je dirai par reconnaissance que j’en dois la plus grande partie à Pilpay sage indien.") — Jean de La Fontaine, Avertissement to the Second Compilation of Fables (1678).

The first collection of 124 Fables Choisies had appeared March 31, 1668, wisely dedicated to "Monseigneur" Louis, le Grand Dauphin, the six-year-old son of Louis XIV of France and his Queen consort Maria Theresa of Spain. In this first issue, comprising what are now called the first six books, La Fontaine adhered to the path of his predecessors with some closeness; but in the later collections he allowed himself far more liberty, and it is in these parts that his genius is most fully manifested. Kelileh va Demneh manuscript copy dated 1429, from Herat, depicts the Jackal trying to lead the lion astray. ... Events August 10 - Treaty of Nijmegen ends the Dutch War. ... March 31 is the 90th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (91st in leap years), with 275 days remaining. ... 1668 (MDCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... Louis, Dauphin of France (known as The Great Dauphin, le Grand Dauphin in French) (1 November 1661 - 14 April 1711) was the eldest son and heir of King Louis XIV of France and Queen Maria Theresa of Spain. ... “Sun King” redirects here. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Marie Thérèse redirects here. ...


The boldness of the politics is as much to be considered as the ingenuity of the moralizing, as the intimate knowledge of human nature displayed in the substance of the narratives, or as the artistic mastery shown in their form. It has sometimes been objected that the view of human character which La Fontaine expresses is unduly dark, and resembles too much that of La Rochefoucauld, for whom the poet certainly had a profound admiration. It may only be said that satire (and La Fontaine is eminently a satirist) necessarily concerns itself with the darker rather than with the lighter shades. 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. ... 1867 edition of the satirical magazine Punch, a British satirical magazine, ground-breaking on popular literature satire. ...


Perhaps the best criticism ever passed upon La Fontaine's Fables is that of Silvestre de Sacy, to the effect that they supply delights to three different ages: the child rejoices in the freshness and vividness of the story, the eager student of literature in the consummate art with which it is told, the experienced man of the world in the subtle reflections on character and life which it conveys. Nor has any one, with the exception of a few paradoxers like Rousseau and a few sentimentalists like Lamartine, denied that the moral tone of the whole is as fresh and healthy as its literary interest is vivid. The book has therefore naturally become a standard French reader both at home and abroad. It is no small testimony to its merit that not even this use (or misuse) has interfered with its popularity. Antoine Isaac, baron Silvestre de Sacy (September 21, 1758 - February 21, 1838), was a French orientalist. ... Rousseau is a French surname. ... Alphonse de Lamartine (October 21, 1790 - February 28, 1869) was a French writer, poet and politician. ...


La Fontaine's Fables provided a model for subsequent fabulists, including Poland's Ignacy Krasicki and Russia's Ivan Krylov. For a comparison of fable with other kinds of stories, see Myth, legend, fairy tale, and fable. ... Ignacy Krasicki Ignacy Krasicki (February 3, 1735, in Galicia — March 14, 1801, in Berlin) was a Polish prince of the Roman Catholic Church, a social critic, a leading writer, and the outstanding poet of the Polish Enlightenment, hailed by contemporaries as the Prince of Poets. ... Ivan Andreyevich Krylov (Иван Андреевич Крылов in Russian) (February 13, 1769 - November 21, 1844) was a famous Russian fabulist. ...


Further reading

  • Poet and the King: Jean De La Fontaine and His Century by Marc Fumaroli, Jean Marie Todd (Transl.) Pub. U. of Notre Dame; ISBN 0-268-03877-5; (May 2002)
  • Fifty Fables of La Fontaine by Jean De La Fontaine, Pub. U. of Ill.; ISBN 0-252-06649-9; (September 1997)

External links

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Jean de La Fontaine
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Jean de La Fontaine
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Jean de La Fontaine
  • Works by Jean de La Fontaine at Project Gutenberg
  • http://www.lafontaine.net/ - extensive information and works online
  • Biography, Analysis (in French)
  • Chocolat Menier - Les Fables de La Fontaine pictures and French language text
  • Jean de La Fontaine: text, concordance and frequency list (in Italian)
  • Fables from La Fontaine read by a French native speaker
  • - Biography and Fables in French language

  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
Preceded by
Jean-Baptiste Colbert
Seat 24
Académie française

1684–1695
Succeeded by
Jules de Clérambault

  Results from FactBites:
 
Jean de La Fontaine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2609 words)
La Fontaine was born at Château-Thierry in Champagne.
Jean, the eldest child, was educated at the college (grammarschool) of Reims, and at the end of his school days he entered the Oratory in May 1641, and the seminary of Saint-Magloire in October of the same year; but a very short sojourn proved to him that he had mistaken his vocation.
Madame de Sévigné, one of the soundest literary critics of the time, and by no means given to praise mere novelties, had spoken of his second collection of Fables published in the winter of 1678 as divine; and it is pretty certain that this was the general opinion.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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