Biography: 

Joachim Du Bellay (1522-1560) was a member of the group of poets known as the "Pléiade." He was the author of the celebrated Defense et Illustration de la langue francoyse (1549), which sought to break with mediaeval traditions mainly by following the example of the best Greek and Latin poetry.

Biography: 

Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) is the most widely read and the best loved of French classical writers. In France every school child studies his fables and leams some of them by heart. La Fontaine is a conscientious artist who also wrote longer poems and Contes et nouvelles en vers, and it is a mistake to think of him as writing primarily for children.

Biography: 

Henri de Régnier (1864-1936) is the author of many novels and short stories as well as collections of poetry and essays on literary criticism. He began as a disciple of Leconte de Lisle and Heredia and later became one of the chiefs of the Symbolist movement. His poetry is notable for its delicate effects and the perfection of its form.

Biography: 

Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) was the illegitimate son of a Polish mother whose name was Kostrowitzky. After desultory studies in Paris, he led a rather nomadic life until the First Great War in which he enlisted in 1914. He was wounded in 1916 and died in the influenza epidemic of 1918. Apollinaire has many moods and many styles.

Biography: 

François Villon is France's first great poet. Born in 1431, he is known to have studied at the University of Paris between 1449 and 1452. Villon disappeared from view in 1463 but in the record of his brief career there are many accounts of encounters with university authorities and the police.

Biography: 
  • Deschamps, Eustache. Oeuvres complètes de Eustache Deschamps. Eds. Gaston Raynaud and Henri Auguste Edouard, le marquis de Queux de Sainte-Hilaire. 11 vols. Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1878-1903.
Biography: 

Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) spent most of his life in Paris, though one can see in some of his poetry the influence of an early voyage he made to the East Indies. His mother and stepfather had encouraged this trip in the hope that it would make Baudelaire forget about following a literary career.

Biography: 

Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) was a youthful prodigy. He began writing poetry in his early teens and, after running away from home, met Verlaine who took him under his wing. All of Rimbaud's poetry was composed before he reached the age of twenty, when he gave up writing for the life of an adventurer. In his most advanced poetry, Rimbaud abandons logic for suggestion.

Biography: 

André-Marie Chenier (1762-1794) was a victim of the French Revolution. Born in Constantinople of a Greek mother and a French father in the diplomatic service, he early felt the influence of classical antiquity though he was educated in France. Chénier was widely travelled and active in politics. Arrested in France on a false suspicion of animosity to the new regime, he was imprisoned at St.

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