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Anatole France (1844 - 1924)

Anatole France

Anatole France the great writer, poet and political activist of late 19th and early 20th century, was born in Paris.  His father was a bookseller and this opportunity made him a book lover and a writer at his early ages.

France depicted his early life as happy times in My Friends Book (1885).  After passing his baccalaureate, he worked as a cataloguer, as a publisher’s assistant, as an assistant to his father and as a teacher.  He became famous in the literature circles in the early years of his life.  When he served briefly in the army during the Franco-Prussian War, he witnessed the bloodbath of the Paris Common in 1871.  This horrible event perpetrated by the bourgeoisie had a great impact on him.  In 1881 he won a literature prize from the French Academy for his novel, The Crimes of Sylvester Bonnard.  During the 1890s and early 1900s, France became critical of the shortcomings of society and the church; he argued for social reforms.  In the Penguin Island (1908), he satirizes the human nature by transforming penguins into humans.  In 1921, France was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.

France’s first scepticism and then hostility towards bourgeois values led him to struggle for socialism and support for the French Communist Party.

In the 1920's his writings were the subject of the Forbidden Books of The Roman Catholic Church.

He created a vast collection in the field of literature, some of his selected works are:

  • The Bride of Corinth (1876)

  • Jocasta and the Famished Cat (1879)

  • Balthasar (1889)

  • The Mother-of-Pearl Box (1892)

  • The Red Lily (1894)

  • The Well of Santa Clara (1895)

  • Monsieur Bergeret in Paris (1901)

  • The White Stone (1905)

  • The Gods are Athirst (1912)

  • The Revolt of the Angels (1914)

  • Little Pierre (1918)

  • The Bloom of Life (1922)

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