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A Woodland Queen   By: (1833-1907)

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('Reine des Bois')


With a Preface by MELCHIOR DE VOGUE, of the French academy


CLAUDE ADHEMAR ANDRE THEURIET was born at Marly le Roi (Seine et Oise), October 8,1833. His ancestors came from Lorraine. He was educated at Bar le Duc and went to Paris in 1854 to study jurisprudence. After finishing his courses he entered the Department of the Treasury, and after an honorable career there, resigned as chef de bureau. He is a poet, a dramatist, but, above all, a writer of great fiction.

As early as 1857 the poems of Theuriet were printed in the 'Revue de Paris' and the 'Revue des Deux Mondes'. His greatest novel, 'Reine des Bois' (Woodland Queen), was crowned by the Academie Francaise in 1890. To the public in general he became first known in 1870 by his 'Nouvelles Intimes'. Since that time he has published a great many volumes of poems, drama, and fiction. A great writer, he perhaps meets the wishes of that large class of readers who seek in literature agreeable rest and distraction, rather than excitement or aesthetic gratification. He is one of the greatest spirits that survived the bankruptcy of Romanticism. He excels in the description of country nooks and corners; of that polite rusticity which knows nothing of the delving laborers of 'La Terre', but only of graceful and learned leisure, of solitude nursed in revery, and of passion that seems the springtide of germinating nature. He possesses great originality and the passionate spirit of a 'paysagiste': pictures of provincial life and family interiors seem to appeal to his most pronounced sympathies. His taste is delicate, his style healthy and frank, and at the same time limpid and animated.

After receiving, in 1890, the Prix Vitet for the ensemble of his literary productions, he was elected to the Academy in 1896. To the stage Theuriet has given 'Jean Marie', drama in verses (Odeon, February 11, 1871). It is yet kept on the repertoire together with his 'Maison de deux Barbeaux (1865), Raymonde (1887), and Les Maugars (1901).'

His novels, tales, and poems comprise a long list. 'Le Bleu et le Noir' (1873) was also crowned by the Academy. Then followed, at short intervals: 'Mademoiselle Guignon (1874.); Le Mariage de Gerard (1875); La Fortune d'Angele (1876); Raymonde (1877),' a romance of modern life, vastly esteemed by the reading public; 'Le Don Juan de Vireloup (1877); Sous Bois, Impressions d'un Forestier (1878); Le Filleul d'un Marquis (1878); Les Nids (1879); Le fils Maugars (1879); La Maison de deux Barbeaux (1879); Toute seule (1880); Sauvageonne (1880), his most realistic work; Les Enchantements de la Foret (1881); Le Livre de la Payse (poetry, 1882); Madame Heurteloup (1882); Peche de Jeunesse (1883); Le Journal de Tristan, mostly autobiographical; Bigarreau (1885); Eusebe Lombard (1885); Les OEillets de Kerlatz (1885); Helene (1886); Nos Oiseaux (beautiful verses, 1886); La Vie Rustique (1887); Amour d'Automne (1888); Josette (1888); Deux Soeurs (1889); Contes pour les Soirs d'Hiver (1890); Charme Dangereux (1891); La Ronde des Saisons et des Mois (1889); La Charmeresse (1891); Fleur de Nice (1896); Bois Fleury (1897); Refuge (1898); Villa Tranquille (1899); Claudette (1900); La Petite Derniere (1901); Le Manuscrit du Chanoine (1902), etc.

Besides this abundant production Andre Theuriet has also contributed to various journals and magazines: 'Le Moniteur, Le Musee Universal, L'Illustration, Le Figaro, Le Gaulois, La Republique Francaise, etc.; he has lectured in Belgium, Holland, and Switzerland, and has even found leisure to fill the post as Mayor of Bourg la Reine (Seine et Oise), perhaps no onerous office (1882 1900). He has also been an 'Officier de la Legion d'Honneur' since 1895.

MELCHIOR DE VOGUE de l'Academie Francaise.




Toward the middle of October, about the time of the beechnut harvest, M... Continue reading book >>

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