Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869) was born of a noble family at Mâcon, where he spent a happy childhood with his mother and sisters. In October 1816 Lamartine visited Aix-les-Bains where he met Madame Julie Charles, who, as Elvire, was to inspire many of the poems in the famous Méditations poétiques. She was ill with tuberculosis, but it was agreed that they would meet again the next summer at the same spot. Lamartine went back to Aix in August 1817, but Madame Charles was too ill to travel there and she died December 18 of that year. In later life Lamartine entered politics and after the Revolution of 1848 he was for a short time the leader of the government. He died impoverished in relative obscurity.
"Alphonese de Lamartine." Representative French Poetry. Ed. Victor E. Graham. 2nd edn. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1965. 31-38.
Alphonse de LAMARTINE (1790-1869). Les grands Classiques. Boulogne: la société Webnet, 1996-2009.