Théodore-Éloi Lebreton

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Théodore-Éloi Lebreton


Biographie rouennaise by Théodore-Éloi Lebreton.
Born 1 December 1803
Died 12 December 1883(1883-12-12) (aged 80)
Occupation Bibliograph

Théodore-Éloi Lebreton (1 December 1803 – 12 December 1883) was a 19th-century autodidact French poet, chansonnier and bibliographer.

A chansonnier was a poet songwriter, solitary singer, who sang his or her own songs (chansons) with a guitar, prominent in francophone countries during the 1960s and 1970s. Compared to the popular singer, the chansonnier needs no artifice to sing his/her soul poetry. They performed in «Les Boites à Chansons». which were flourishing in those years. The themes of their songs varied but included nature, love, simplicity, and a social interest to improve their world.



Born from a day laborer and a washerwoman, Lebreton entered at age seven in an indienne factory in his hometown where he was taught the printing trade on fabrics. Barely able to spell, he learned, through perseverance, to read and write and, after a few years, he felt the desire to tell what he felt. Aged fourteen, he had succeeded, through saving his salary to complete his education by going to the theater, to be a great worker and educated in his workshop. The taste of poetry being born in him, he was induced by the inspiration and breathed in to the impressions of his soul, his pains, joys, hopes and loves. Marceline Desbordes-Valmore presented the poet's essays to Le Journal de Rouen  (fr ) and eventually, in 1836, a man of letters from Rouen, Ch. Richard, drew attention on him by writing a sketch of his life as a worker and thinker and contributed to the publication of a collection of his poems. Until then, Lebreton had remained in his workshop but by that time, the city of Rouen having acquired the Leber collection of books, Lebreton was appointed to the newly created position of sub-librarian at Rouen library to administer it.

Indienne printed or painted cotton textile manufactured in Europe in imitation of similar fabrics originally made in India

Indienne, was a type of printed or painted textile manufactured in Europe between the 17th and the 19th centuries and resembling similar textile originally made in India. They received various other names in French such as madras, pékin, perse, gougouran, damas, and cirsacs. The original Indian techniques for textile printing involved long and complicated processes necessitating the use of mordants or metallic salts to fix the dyes. The beautiful, vibrant, colors came from the garance plant for red, indigo for blue, and gaude for yellow.

Marceline Desbordes-Valmore French poet

Marceline Desbordes-Valmore was a French poet and novelist.

In 1848, Lebreton was elected to represent the Seine-Inférieure department at the Assemblée constituante but wasn't reelected to the Assemblée législative.

Seine-Maritime Department of France

Seine-Maritime is a department of France in the Normandy region of northern France. It is situated on the northern coast of France, at the mouth of the Seine, and includes the cities of Rouen and Le Havre. Until 1955 it was named Seine-Inférieure.

A religious poet, Lebreton, in his first poems, painted the misery of the worker without seeing no other remedy than resignation on earth and rest in heaven; Later, his outrage took a keener focus without going further. A member of several learned societies, this humble man also published several songbooks in his hometown of Rouen, although he was much better known in Paris.

A learned society is an organisation that exists to promote an academic discipline, profession, or a group of related disciplines such as the arts. Membership may be open to all, may require possession of some qualification, or may be an honour conferred by election.

Lebreton's great work is his Biographie normande ; recueil de notices biographiques et bibliographiques sur les personnages célèbres nés en Normandie et sur ceux qui se sont seulement distingués par leurs actions et par leurs écrits et sa Biographie rouennaise ; recueil de notices biographiques et bibliographiques sur les personnages célèbres nés à Rouen qui se sont rendus célèbres ou qui se sont distingués à des titres différents.

He also wrote Corneille chez le savetier, scène historique de la vie de Pierre Corneille , in collaboration with M. Beuzeville presented at the Théâtre des Arts de Rouen 29 June 1841.

Pierre Corneille French tragedian

Pierre Corneille was a French tragedian. He is generally considered one of the three great seventeenth-century French dramatists, along with Molière and Racine.

Rouen Opera House opera house in Rouen, France, built 1952-1962

The Rouen Opera House, formally known as Rouen Normandy Opera House -Theatre of Arts is a French opera house located in Rouen, Normandy. It is home to the Rouen Philharmonic Orchestra.


Fécamp Commune in Normandy, France

Fécamp is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Normandy region in northern France.

Yport Commune in Normandy, France

Yport is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Normandy region in northern France. The residents are known as Yportais or Yportaises.

Vattetot-sur-Mer Commune in Normandy, France

Vattetot-sur-Mer is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Normandy region in northern France.


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