France, Anatole

(1844-1924) (Anatole-François-Thibaut)
   writer, Nobel laureate
   Born Anatole-François Thibaut in Paris, Anatole France, as he was known, was a novelist and Nobel laureate and is frequently regarded as the greatest French writer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The son of a bookseller who communicated to him his love of literature, France was mostly self-educated and was an insatiable reader. His first published work was a volume of verse, Les Poèmes dorés (1873). It was not, however, until the publication of his first novel, Le Crime de Sylvestre Bonnard (1881), that he exhibited the subtle stylistic grace, mixed with compassion and irony, that would later become the main characteristics of his work. He soon produced a large body of writings, including dramas, verse, novels (Thai's, 1890; Le Lys rouge, 1894) historical works, and philosophical and critical essays. In 1896, he was elected to the Académie Française and, in 1921, was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. In 1883, France formed a liaison with Mme Arman de Caillavet, who inspired his high productivity and helped to promote his works through her various contacts in society. His writings of this period include the critical essays La vie littéraire (4 volumes, 1888-92), the novels Thais (1890); Le Lys rouge (1894), and the tetralogy L'histoire contemporaine (1897-1901), which was a harsh analysis of the destructive effects of the Dreyfus affair on French life (see alfred dreyfus). France was among the intellectuals who fought for the exonoration of Dreyfus. In his later works, France supported various humanitarian causes. In his writings, he made eloquent appeals for the rights of labor, popular education, and civil liberties.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • France,Anatole — France (frăns, fräɴs), Anatole. Pen name of Jacques Anatole François Thibault. 1844 1924. French critic and writer of sophisticated, often satirical short stories and novels, including Penguin Island (1908). He won the 1921 Nobel Prize for… …   Universalium

  • France, Anatole — orig. Jacques Anatole François Thibault born April 16, 1844, Paris, France died Oct. 12, 1924, Saint Cyr sur Loire French novelist and critic. France s characteristically ironic and urbane skepticism appeared in his early novels, including Le… …   Universalium

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