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Jules Lemaitre

François Elie Jules Lemaître (1853-1914), French critic and dramatist, was born at Vennecy (Loiret) on April 27 1853.

He became a professor at the university of Grenoble, but he had already become known by his literary criticisms, and in 1884 he resigned his position to devote himself entirely to literature. He succeeded JJ Weiss as dramatic critic of the Journal des Débats, and subsequently filled the same office on the Revue des Deux Mondes. His literary studies were collected under the title of Les Contemporains (7 series, 1886-1899), and his dramatic feuilletons as impressions de théàtre (10 series, 1888-1898).

His sketches of modern authors are interesting for the insight displayed in them, the unexpectedness of the judgments and the gaiety and originality of their expression. He published two volumes of poetry: Les Médaillons (1880) and Petites orientales (1883); also some vo]umes of contes, among them En marge des vieux livres (1905). His plays are:

He was admitted to the French Academy on January 16 1896. His political views were defined in La Campagne nationaliste (1902), lectures delivered in the provinces by him and by G Cavaignac. He conducted a nationalist campaign in the Echo de Paris, and was for some time president of the Ligue de la Patrie Française, but resigned in 1904, and again devoted himself to literature.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.