1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Becque, Henry François

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BECQUE, HENRY FRANÇOIS (1837-1899), French dramatist, was born on the 9th of April 1837 in Paris. He wrote the book of an opera Sardanapale in imitation of Lord Byron for the music of M. Victorin Joncières in 1867, but his first important work, Michel Pauper, appeared in 1870. The importance of this sombre drama was first realized when it was revived at the Odéon in 1886. Les Corbeaux (1882) established Becque’s position as an innovator, and in 1885 he produced his most successful play, La Parisienne. Becque produced little during the last years of his life, but his disciples carried on the tradition he had created. He died in May 1899.

See his Querelles littéraires (1890), and Souvenirs d’un auteur dramatique (1895), consisting chiefly of reprinted articles in which he does not spare his opponents. His Théâtre complet (3 vols., 1899) includes L’Enfant prodigue (Vaudeville Theatre, 6th of Nov. 1868); Michel Pauper (Théâtre de la Porte-Saint-Martin, 17th of June 1870); L’Enlèvement (Vaudeville, 18th of Nov. 1871); La Navette (Gymnase, 15th of Nov. 1878); Les Honnêtes Femmes (Gymnase, 1st of Jan. 1880); Les Corbeaux (Comédie Française, 14th of Sept. 1882); La Parisienne (Théâtre de la Renaissance, 7th of Feb. 1885).