Family tree of Emile SOUVESTRE


FrenchBorn Charles Emile SOUVESTRE

French novelist

Born on April 15, 1806 in Morlaix , France

Died on July 05, 1854 in Montmorency , France

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Souvestre was the son of a civil engineer and was educated at the college of Pontivy, with the intention of following his father's career by entering the Polytechnic School. However, his father died in 1823 and he matriculated as a law student at Rennes but soon devoted himself to literature.

He was by turns a bookseller's assistant, a private schoolmaster, a journalist, and master at the grammar schools of Brest and of Mülhausen. He settled in Paris in 1836 and in 1848 he became professor in a school for the instruction of civil servants.


He began his literary career with a drama, played at the Théâtre français in 1828, the Siege de Missolonghi. This tragedy was a pronounced failure. In novel writing he did much better than for the stage, deliberately aiming at making the novel an engine of moral instruction. His first two novels L'Echelle de Femmes and Riche et Pauvre met with favourable receptions.

His best work is undoubtedly to be found in the charming Derniers Bretons (4 vols, 1835-1837) and Foyer breton (1844), where the folk-lore and natural features of his native province are worked up into story form, and in Un Philosophe sous les toils, which received in 1851 a well deserved academic prize. He also wrote a number of other works—novels, dramas, essays and miscellanies.

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Geographical origins

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