Anatole France

From Academic Kids

Anatole France (April 16, 1844 - October 12, 1924) was the pen name of French author Jacques Anatole Franois Thibault. He was born in Paris, France, and died in Tours, Indre-et-Loire, France. He was buried in the Ancient Cemetery of Neuilly, Hauts-de-Seine.

In the 1920s his writings were put on the Index of Forbidden Books of the Roman Catholic Church, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1921.

Anatole France Biography

Anatole France, pseudonym for Jacques Anatole Thibault (1844-1924), was the son of a Paris book dealer. He received a thorough classical education at the Collge Stanislas, a boys' school in Paris, and for a while he studied at the cole des Chartes. For about twenty years he held diverse positions, but he always had enough time for his own writings, especially during his period as assistant librarian at the Senate from 1876 to 1890. His literary output is vast, and though he is chiefly known as a novelist and storyteller, there is hardly a literary genre that he did not touch upon at one time or another. France is a writer in the mainstream of French classicism. His style, modelled on Voltaire and Fnlon, as well as his urbane scepticism and enlightened hedonism, continue the tradition of the French eighteenth century. This outlook on life, which appears in all his works, is explicitly expressed in collection of aphorisms, Le Jardin d'picure (1895) [The Garden of Epicurus].

France had written several stories and novels before he achieved his first great success with Le Crime de Sylvestre Bonnard (1881). The novel received a prize from the Acadmie Franaise, of which France became a member in 1896.

In 1885 he published Le Livre de mon ami [My Friend's Book], a kind of autobiographical novel, which he continued with Pierre Nozire (1899), Le Petit Pierre (1918), and La Vie au fleur (1922) [The Bloom of Life]. From 1888 to 1892 France was the literary critic of the newspaper Le Temps. His reviews, inspired by the scepticism of Renan, but highly subjective, were collected in four volumes under the title La Vie littraire (1888-92) [On Life and Letters]. About this time France turned sharply against the naturalism of Zola. His own work of this period consists of historical fiction that evokes past civilizations with great charm and deep insight. The period of transition from paganism to Christianity was one of his favourites. In 1889 appeared Balthazar, a fanciful version of the story of one of the Magi, and in 1890 Thas, the story of the conversion of an Alexandrian courtesan during the Christian era. L'tui de nacre (1892) [Mother of Pearl] is the story of a hermit and a faun, an ironic conjunction typical of France's art.

In 1893 France published his most celebrated novel, La Rtisserie de la Reine Pdauque [At the Sign of the Reine Pdauque], a vast tableau of life in eighteenth century France. The central figure of the novel, the Abb Coignard, a complex, ironical, and lovable character, reappears in Les Opinions de Jrme Coignard (1893) and the collection of stories Le Puits de Sainte Claire (1895) [The Well of Saint Claire]. With the tragic love story, Le Lys rouge (1894) [The Red Lily], France returned to a contemporary subject and in the following years wrote Histoire contemporaine (1896-1901), a group of prose works, not really novels, that have their unity in the character of Professor Bergeret, one of France's most famous creations.

In his later years France became increasingly interested in social questions. He protested the verdict in the Dreyfus case and developed some sympathies for socialism. Among his last important works were a biography of Joan of Arc (1908), Les Dieux ont soif (1912) [The Gods are Athirst], and La Rvolte des anges (1914) [The Revolt of the Angels]. The collected works of Anatole France were published in twenty-five volumes between 1925 and 1935.

From Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901-1967, Editor Horst Frenz, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1969

This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and later published in the book series Les Prix Nobel/Nobel Lectures. The information is sometimes updated with an addendum submitted by the Laureate. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above.

Anatole France died on October 12, 1924.

      • Taken from


  • The Man Who Married A Dumb Wife

Famous sayings

  • "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread."
  • "I prefer the errors of enthusiasm to the indifference of wisdom."
  • "If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing."
  • "When a thing has been said, and said well, have no scruple. Take it and copy it."
  • "Let us give to men irony and pity as witnesses and judges."
  • "Make hatred hated."
  • Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are those that other people have lent me."

External links


Preceded by:
Ferdinand de Lesseps
Seat 38
Acadmie franaise
Succeeded by:
Paul Valry
be:Анатоль Франс

bg:Анатол Франс de:Anatole France et:Anatole France es:Anatole France eo:Anatole FRANCE fr:Anatole France it:Anatole France ja:アナトール・フランス nl:Anatole France pl:Anatole France pt:Anatole France sv:Anatole France


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