Abel-François Villemain

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Abel-François Villemain

Abel-François Villemain (9 June 1790 8 May 1870) was a French politician and writer.

Biography

Villemain was born in Paris and educated at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand. He became assistant master at the Lycée Charlemagne, and subsequently at the École Normale. In 1812 he gained a prize from the Academy with an essay on Michel de Montaigne. Under the restoration he was appointed, first, assistant professor of modern history, and then professor of French eloquence at the Sorbonne. Here he delivered a series of literary lectures which had an extraordinary effect on his younger contemporaries. [1]

Lycée Louis-le-Grand French school in the heart of the Quartier latin in Paris, France

The Lycée Louis-le-Grand is a prestigious secondary school located in Paris. Founded in 1563 by the Jesuits as the Collège de Clermont, it was renamed in King Louis XIV of France's honor after he extended his direct patronage to it in 1682. It offers both a sixth-form college curriculum, and a post-secondary-level curriculum, preparing students for entrance to the elite Grandes écoles for research, such as the École normale supérieure (Paris), for engineering, such as the École Polytechnique, or for business, such as HEC Paris. Students at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand are called magnoludoviciens.

Lycée Charlemagne Parisian high-school

The Lycée Charlemagne is located in the Marais quarter of the 4th arrondissement of Paris, the capital city of France.

Michel de Montaigne French-Occitan author, humanistic philosopher, statesman

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Lord of Montaigne was one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre. His work is noted for its merging of casual anecdotes and autobiography with intellectual insight. His massive volume, Essais, contains some of the most influential essays ever written.

Villemain had the great advantage of coming just before the Romantic movement, of having a wide love of literature without being an extremist. Most of the clever young men of the brilliant generation of 1830 passed under his influence; and, while he pleased the Romanticists by his frank appreciation of the beauties of English, German, Italian, and Spanish poetry, he did not decry the classics—either the classics proper of Greece and Rome or the so-called classics of France. [1]

Romanticism period of artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that started in 18th century Europe

Romanticism was an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Romanticism was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, preferring the medieval rather than the classical. It was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific rationalization of nature—all components of modernity. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography, education, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. It had a significant and complex effect on politics, with romantic thinkers influencing liberalism, radicalism, conservatism and nationalism.

Greece republic in Southeast Europe

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, historically also known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2016. Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.

In 1819 he published a book on Oliver Cromwell, [2] and two years later he was elected to the Academy. Villemain was appointed by the restoration government Chef de l'imprimerie et de la librairie, a post involving a kind of irregular censorship of the press, and afterwards to the office of master of requests. Before the revolution of July he had been deprived of his office for his liberal tendencies, and was elected deputy for Évreux in July 1830. Under Louis-Philippe he was made a Peer of France in 1832. He was a member of the council of public instruction, and was twice minister of that department, and he also became secretary of the Academy. During the whole of the July monarchy he was one of the chief dispensers of literary patronage in France, but in his later years his reputation declined. He died in Paris. [1]

Oliver Cromwell 17th-century English military and political leader

Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader. He served as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1653 until his death, acting simultaneously as head of state and head of government of the new republic.

Évreux Prefecture and commune in Normandy, France

Évreux is a commune in and the capital of the department of Eure, in the French region of Normandy.

Louis Philippe I King of the French

Louis Philippe I was King of the French from 1830 to 1848. His father Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans had taken the name "Philippe Égalité" because he initially supported the French Revolution. However, following the deposition and execution of his cousin King Louis XVI, Louis Philippe fled the country. His father denounced his actions and voted for his death, but was imprisoned and executed that same year. Louis Philippe spent the next 21 years in exile before returning during the Bourbon Restoration. He was proclaimed king in 1830 after his cousin Charles X was forced to abdicate by the July Revolution. The reign of Louis Philippe is known as the July Monarchy and was dominated by wealthy industrialists and bankers. He followed conservative policies, especially under the influence of French statesman François Guizot during the period 1840–48. He also promoted friendship with Britain and sponsored colonial expansion, notably the French conquest of Algeria. His popularity faded as economic conditions in France deteriorated in 1847, and he was forced to abdicate after the outbreak of the French Revolution of 1848. He lived out his life in exile in the United Kingdom. His supporters were known as Orléanists, as opposed to Legitimists who supported the main line of the House of Bourbon.

His wit was legendary; an anecdote has a fellow professor saying to him "I have discovered a gallicism in Cicero." The professor had been a revolutionary during the revolution, a follower of Napoleon during the Empire and a royalist during the restauration. Villemain answered quickly to him: "I found one too: «Quantae infidelitates! Quot amicorum fugae!»"[ citation needed ]

A Gallicism can be:

Cicero 1st-century BC Roman philosopher and statesman

Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman statesman, orator, lawyer and philosopher, who served as consul in the year 63 BC. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.

Villemain's chief work is his Cours de la littérature française (5 vols., 1828–1829). Among his other works are: Tableau de la littérature au Moyen Âge (2 vols., 1846); Tableau de la littérature au XVIII siècle (4 vols., 1864); Souvenirs contemporains (2 vols., 1856); Histoire de Grégoire VII (2 vols., 1873; Engl. trans., 1874). [1]

Lautréamont assessed him thus: "Villemain is thirty-four times more intelligent than Eugène Sue and Frédéric Soulié. His preface to the Dictionary of the Academy will outlive the novels of Walter Scott and Fenimore Cooper, and all the novels conceivable and imaginable." [3]

Eugène Sue French writer

Marie-Joseph "Eugène" Sue was a French novelist. He was one of several authors who popularized the genre of the serial novel in France with his very popular and widely imitated The Mysteries of Paris, which was published in a newspaper from 1842 to 1843.

Frédéric Soulié French writer

Frédéric Soulié was a French popular novelist and playwright. He wrote over forty sensation novels like Mémoires du diable (1837-8).

Walter Scott 18th/19th-century Scottish historical novelist, poet and playwright

Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet was a Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright and historian. Many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, Old Mortality, The Lady of the Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor.

Among notices on Villemain may be cited that of Louis de Loménie (1841), E. Mirecourt (1858), J.L. Dubut (1875). See also Sainte-Beuve, Portraits (1841, vol. iii), and Causeries du lundi (vol. xi, "Notes et pensées"). [1]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Villemain, Abel François"  . Encyclopædia Britannica . 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 80.
  2. "Review of Histoire de Cromwell, d'après les Mémoires du Temps, et les Recueils Parlementaires par M. Villemain ..." The Quarterly Review. 25: 279–347. July 1821.
  3. Raitt, Alan William (1998). The Process of Art: Essays on Nineteenth-century French Literature, Music and Painting in Honour of Alan Raitt. Clarendon Press. p. 34.