1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hauréau, (Jean) Barthélemy

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HAURÉAU, (JEAN) BARTHÉLEMY (1812–1896), French historian and miscellaneous writer, was born in Paris. At the age of twenty he published a series of apologetic studies on the Montagnards. In later years he regretted the youthful enthusiasm of these papers, and endeavoured to destroy the copies. He joined the staff of the National, and was praised by Théophile Gautier as the “tribune” of romanticism. At that time he seemed to be destined to a political career, and, indeed, after the revolution of the 24th of February 1848 was elected member of the National Assembly; but close contact with revolutionary men and ideas gradually cooled his old ardour. Throughout his life he was an enemy to innovators, not only in politics and religion, but also in literature. This attitude sometimes led him to form unjust estimates, but only on very rare occasions, for his character was as just as his erudition was scrupulous. After the coup d’état he resigned his position as director of the MS. department of the Bibliothèque Nationale, to which he had been appointed in 1848, and he refused to accept any administrative post until after the fall of the empire. After having acted as director of the national printing press from 1870 to 1881, he retired, but in 1893 accepted the post of director of the Fondation Thiers. He was also a member of the council of improvement of the École des Chartes. He died on the 29th of April 1896. For over half a century he was engaged in writing on the religious, philosophical, and more particularly the literary history of the middle ages. Appointed librarian of the town of Le Mans in 1838, he was first attracted by the history of Maine, and in 1843 published the first volume of his Histoire littéraire du Maine (4 vols., 1843–1852), which he subsequently recast on a new plan (10 vols., 1870–1877). In 1845 he brought out an edition of vol. ii. of G. Ménage’s Histoire de Sablé. He then undertook the continuation of the Gallia Christiana, and produced vol. xiv. (1856) for the province of Tours, vol. xv. (1862) for the province of Besançon, and vol. xvi. (1865–1870) for the province of Vienne. This important work gained him admission to the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (1862). In the Notices et extraits des manuscrits he inserted several papers which were afterwards published separately, with additions and corrections, under the title Notices et extraits de quelques manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Nationale (6 vols., 1890–1893). To the Histoire littéraire de la France he contributed a number of studies, among which must be mentioned that relating to the sermon-writers (vol. xxvi., 1873), whose works, being often anonymous, raise many problems of attribution, and, though deficient in originality of thought and style, reflect the very spirit of the middle ages. Among his other works mention must be made of his remarkable Histoire de la philosophie scolastique (1872–1880), extending from the time of Charlemagne to the 13th century, which was expanded from a paper crowned by the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques in 1850; Les Mélanges poétiques d’Hildebert de Lavardin (1882); an edition of the Works of Hugh of St Victor (1886); a critical study of the Latin poems attributed to St Bernard (1890); and Bernard Délicieux et l’inquisition albigeoise (1877). To these must be added his contributions to the Dictionnaire des sciences philosophiques, Didot’s Biographie générale, the Bibliothèque de l’École des Chartes, and the Journal des savants. From the time of his appointment to the Bibliothèque Nationale up to the last days of his life he was engaged in making abstracts of all the medieval Latin writings (many anonymous or of doubtful attribution) relating to philosophy, theology, grammar, canon law, and poetry, carefully noting on cards the first words of each passage. After his death this index of incipits, arranged alphabetically, was presented to the Académie des Inscriptions, and a copy was placed in the MS. department of the Bibliothèque Nationale.

See obituary notice read by Henri Wallon at a meeting of the Académie des Inscriptions on the 12th of November 1897; and the notice by Paul Meyer prefixed to vol. xxxiii. of the Histoire littéraire de la France.