Edmé Boursault

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Admé Boursault

Edmé Boursault (October 1638 15 September 1701) was a French dramatist and miscellaneous writer, born at Mussy l'Evéque, now Mussy-sur-Seine (Aube).



On Boursault's first arrival in Paris in 1651 his language was limited to Burgundian, but within a year he had produced his first comedy, Le Mort vivant (Living Death). [1]

This and some other pieces of small merit secured for him distinguished patronage in the society ridiculed by Molière in the Ecole des femmes. Boursault was persuaded that the Lysidas of that play was a caricature of himself, and attacked Molière in Le Portrait du peintre ou la contre-critique de l'Ecole des femmes (1663). Molière retaliated in L'Impromptu de Versailles, and Boileau attacked Boursault in Satires 7 and 9. Boursault replied to Boileau in his Satire des satires (1669), but was afterwards reconciled to him, when Boileau on his side erased his name from his satires. [1]

Boursault obtained a considerable pension as editor of a rhyming gazette, which was, however, suppressed for ridiculing a Capuchin friar, and the editor was only saved from the Bastille by the interposition of Condé. In 1671 he produced a work of edification in Ad usum Delphini: la veritable étude des souverains, which so pleased the court that its author was about to be made assistant tutor to Louis, Grand Dauphin when it was found that he was ignorant of Greek and Latin. The post then went to Pierre Huet, but perhaps in compensation, Boursault was made collector of taxes at Montluçon about 1672, an appointment that he retained until 1688. [1]

Among his best-known plays are Le Mercure galant, the title of which was changed to La Comédie sans titre ("Play without a title", 1683) when the publisher of a literary review of the same name objected (see "Mercure de France"); La Princesse de Clêves (1676), an unsuccessful play which, when refurbished with fresh names by its author, succeeded as Germanicus; Esope à la ville (1690); and Esope à la cour (1701). His lack of dramatic instinct could hardly be better indicated than by the scheme of his Esope, which allows the fabulist to come on the stage in each scene and recite a fable. [1]

Boursault died in Paris on 15 September 1701. His Œuvres choisies were published in 1811, and a sketch of him can be found in Saint-René Taillandier's Etudes littéraires (1881). [1]

Partial list of works



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  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). "Boursault, Edme". Encyclopædia Britannica . 4 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 334.
  2. 1 2 Hawkins (1884), p. 369-370
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 McGraw-Hill (1984), p. 376-377
  4. 1 2 3 Forman (2010), p. 204-205
  5. 1 2 3 4 Slater (2008), Introduction
  6. 1 2 Scott (2002), p. 127-132
  7. 1 2 Gaines (2002), p. 65
  8. Dingwall (1931), p. 155
  9. 1 2 Boursault (1746), Vol. 1, p. 275-276
  10. 1 2 Dunlop (1823), p. 195-209
  11. 1 2 3 Lancaster (1936), p. 683-684
  12. 1 2 Lancaster (1936), p. 502-503
  13. 1 2 3 Norman (2010), p. 104-106
  14. Pocock (1980), p. 54-55
  15. Shelley (1840), p. 272-273
  16. Boursault (1746), Vol II, p. 78
  17. Hawkins (1884), p. 129-130
  18. Hawkins (1884), p. 375
  19. Hawkins (1884), p. 126
  20. French Studies (1973), p. 199-200
  21. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Tilley (1929), p. 87-89
  22. Hawkins (1884), p. 150-152
  23. Brereton (1977), p. 159
  24. Hawkins (1884), p. 376
  25. Hawkins (1884), p. 153
  26. Finson (2011), p. 72-73
  27. 1 2 Adrian (2007), p. 62
  28. 1 2 3 Loveridge (1998), p. 166
  29. 1 2 Hawkins (1884), p. 210-211
  30. Fournel (1863), p. 96
  31. Boursault (1746), Vol. 3, Phaeton- Personnages
  32. DeJoan (2007), p. 30
  33. Reid, Rohmann (1993), p. 654
  34. Boursault (1746), Vol. 2, p. 446
  35. 1 2 Weil (1991), p. 100
  36. 1 2 Visconti (1994), p. 296
  37. 1 2 3 Becker (2000), Tableau chronologique
  38. 1 2 3 4 Chalmers (1812), p. 244-246
  39. Sullivan (2009), p. 421
  40. Sullivan (2009), p. 110-111
  41. Wolfgang (2004), p. 192