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La Fontaine, Jean de

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Born: 1621 AD
Died: 1695 AD, at 73 years of age.

Nationality: French
Categories: Poets

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1621 – He was born on the 8th day of July this year at Château-Thierry in Champagne. His father was Charles de La Fontaine, maître des eaux et forts a kind of deputy-ranger - of the duchy of Chateau-Thierry; his mother was Françoise Pidoux. Jean was the most famous French fabulist and probably the most widely read French poet of the 17th century.

 

1641 - Jean, the eldest child, was educated at the collège (grammar school) of Reims, and at the end of his school days, he entered the Oratory in May of this year, and the seminary of Saint-Magloire in October of the same year; but a very short sojourn proved to him that he had mistaken his vocation. He then apparently studied law.

 

1647 – His father resigned his rangership in his favor, and arranged a marriage for him with Marie Héricart, a girl of fourteen, who brought him twenty thousand livres, and expectations. She seems to have been both beautiful and intelligent, but the two did not get on well together.

 

1654 - His first serious work was a translation or adaptation of the Eunuchus of Terence in this year. At this time, the Maecenas of French letters was the Superintendent Fouquet, to whom La Fontaine was introduced by Jacques Jannart, a connection of his wife. 1656 - La Fontaine seems to have been much at Paris, but it was not until about this year, that he became a regular visitor to the capital. The duties of his office, which were only occasional, were compatible with this non-residence.

 

1664 he was regularly commissioned and sworn in as gentleman to the duchess dowager of Orleans, and was installed in the Luxembourg. In the same year appeared the second book of the Contes.

 

1668 – In this year, the first six books of the Fables, with more of both kinds in 1671.

 

1682 – He was, at more than sixty years of age, recognized as one of the first men of letters of France. Also in this year, he was first proposed, but was rejected for Marquis de Dangeau. The next year Colbert died and La Fontaine was again nominated.

 

1695 – He died at age 73 on the 13th day of April this year.


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Page last updated: 12:07pm, 12th Jun '07

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