Presentation and History of Guy de Maupassant

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A 19th century French writer, Maupassant is a literary journalist and author of tales, novels and short stories. It belongs to the realistic and naturalist movement with a fantastic dimension in several stories.

In this article, we will see:

  • Information this writer
  • The story of this author
  • Things to remember about his work
  • The different books by Maupassant

Let's start now by discovering information about Guy de Maupassant.

Presentation of Guy de Maupassant

Portrait of Guy de Maupassant

Here are some important points to summarize the character of Guy de Maupassant.

  • Birth: August 5, 1850 in Tourville-sur-Arques

  • Died: July 6, 1893 (42 years old) in Paris.

  • Nationality: French

  • Studies: Lycée Pierre Corneille (1868–1869)

  • University of Paris

  • Passions: Hunting, boating and women

  • Country of residence: France

  • Profession: Author, playwright, poet, novelist, journalist, clerk at the Ministry of the Navy

  • Spouse: None

The story of this 19th century poet

Victor Hugo is one of the greatest French poets and writers of all time. He was born in Besançon and studied at the Louis-Le-Grand high school in Paris. From 1816, he affirmed his literary vocation: “I want to be Chateaubriand or nothing”.

Victor Hugo is at his beginnings: poet and monarchist. But the events of 1830 and his affair with Juliette Drouet caused profound changes in his ideas and made him the leader of the romantic movement. His apartment becomes the headquarters of the “Cenacle”, bringing together young romantic authors. He won with Gérard de Nerval and Théophile Gauthier the "battle of Hernani" (name given to the controversy and the uproar which surrounded the performances of the play Hernani, a romantic drama by Victor Hugo), against the supporters of classical theater.

A genius writer, he saw his notoriety quickly transform into celebrity. Victor Hugo was elected to the French Academy in 1841 and Peer of France in 1845. He lost his daughter Léopoldine in 1845 and seemed to seek relief for his pain in politics.

Moved by the suffering of the people in 1848, Victor Hugo became a republican and displayed his hostility to Napoleon III who had him exiled to Jersey, then to Guernsey. In 1859, he refused the Emperor's amnesty. During this exile which lasted almost twenty years, he produced the richest part of his work.

Returning to France in 1870, Victor Hugo was welcomed as the symbol of republican resistance to the Second Empire. He was elected deputy for Paris, then senator.

His literary production then gave way to politics. He mainly published works started during his exile.

Sensitive to the mysteries of the world, Victor Hugo tries to match his spiritual vision of the universe to a rationalist and optimistic conception of the history of humanity. Over the years, he became fundamentally anticlerical and forcefully denounced obscurantism.

His national and civil funeral in Paris is grandiose, because he was, during his lifetime, the most popular of writers and a great defender of the Republic.

Some books written by the author

During his career, Victor Hugo wrote a lot of books with very different stories. To help you start reading, here are his main works:

  • Odes (Poems, 1822)
  • Cromwell (Theatre, 1827)
  • Hernani (Theater, 1830)
  • Autumn Leaves (Poems, 1831)
  • Notre-Dame de Paris (historical novel, 1831)
  • Marie Tudor (Theater, 1833)
  • Lucrezia Borgia (Theater, 1833)
  • Ruy Blas (Theater, 1838)
  • Rays and Shadows (Poems, 1840)
  • Punishments (1853)
  • The Contemplations (1856)
  • The Legend of the Ages (Poetry, 1859)
  • Les Miserables (novel, 1862)
  • William Shakespeare (essay 1864)
  • The Workers of the Sea (novel, 1866)
  • The Man Who Laughs (philosophical novel, 1869)
  • The terrible year (1872)
  • Ninety-three (1874)
  • The Art of Being a Grandfather (1877)
  • The Four Winds of the Spirit (1881)
  • Things Seen (1887)

3 memorable quotes from Victor Hugo

Here are 3 very well-known quotes that are attributed to the writer. You've probably heard them before.

“There comes a time when protesting is no longer enough: after philosophy, we need action.” Wretched

“God only made water, but man made wine.” Contemplations

“Life is just one long loss of everything you love.” The man who Laughs

Some sources: Larousse , Babelio