He was born in Paris of Calvinist parents, and was educated for business. However, after his father's death in 1620, he began to move in literary circles, and soon acquired a reputation, though he wrote nothing for many years. He was made councillor and secretary to the king; and in 1629 his house became the resort of a group who met to talk over literary subjects, and to read and mutually criticize their works.
Cardinal Richelieu offered the society his protection, and in this way (1635) the Académie française was created. Its first meetings were held in Conrart. He was unanimously elected secretary, and discharged the duties of his post for forty-three years, till his death.
The most important of Conrart's written works is his Mémoires sur l?histoire de son temps published by LJN de Monmerqué in 1825.
See also R Kerviler and Edouard de Barthélemy, Conrart, sa vie et sa correspondence (1881); CB Petitot, Mémoires relatifs a l?histoire de France, tome xlviii.; and Sainte-Beuve, Causeries du lundi (19 juillet 1858).
This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.