1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Feydeau, Ernest-Aimé

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FEYDEAU, ERNEST-AIMÉ (1821–1873), French author, was born in Paris, on the 16th of March 1821. He began his literary career in 1844, by the publication of a volume of poetry, Les Nationales. Either the partial failure of this literary effort, or his marriage soon afterwards to a daughter of the economist Blanqui, caused him to devote himself to finance and to archaeology. He gained a great success with his novel Fanny (1858), a success due chiefly to the cleverness with which it depicted and excused the corrupt manners of a certain portion of French society. This was followed in rapid succession by a series of fictions, similar in character, but wanting the attraction of novelty; none of them enjoyed the same vogue as Fanny. Besides his novels Feydeau wrote several plays, and he is also the author of Histoire générale des usages funèbres et des sépultures des peuples anciens (3 vols., 1857–1861); Le Secret du bonheur (sketches of Algerian life) (2 vols., 1864); and L’Allemagne en 1871 (1872), a clever caricature of German life and manners. He died in Paris on the 27th of October 1873.

See Sainte-Beuve, Causeries du lundi, vol. xiv., and Barbey d’Aurevilly, Les Œuvres et les hommes au XIXe siècle.