1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Rosny, Joseph Henry

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ROSNY, JOSEPH HENRY, a pseudonym covering the collaboration of the French novelists, Joseph Henri Honoré Boëx, born at Brussels in 1856, and his brother Séraphin Justin François Boëx, born at Brussels in 1859. The novels of J. H. Rosny are full of scientific knowledge, of astronomy, anthropology, zoology and, above all, sociology. The stories are approached from the point of view of society rather than of the individual, but the characters, strongly individualized and intensely real, are only incidentally typical. The elder Rosny was the sole author of the earlier novels, and began novel writing as an avowed disciple of Zola. Nell Horn, membre de l’armée du salut (1885) is a picture of London life and social reform; Le Bilatéral (1886) and Marc Fane (1888) describe the revolutionary and anarchist parties of Paris; L’Immolation (1887) is a brutal story of peasant life; Le Termite (1890) is a picture of literary life in Paris; and Vamireh (1891), with Erymah (1895), and Les Profondeurs de Kyamo (short stories, 1896) and others deal with prehistoric man. MM. Rosny were among the writers who in 1887 entered a formal protest in the Figaro against Zola’s La Terre, and they were designated by Edmond de Goncourt as original members of his academy. Among their later novels the more famous are: Daniel Valgraive (1891), a study in the possibilities of personal sacrifice; L’Impérieuse Bonté (1894), an indictment of Parisian charity; L’Indomptée (1895), the history of a girl medical student in Paris; Le Serment (1896, dramatized 1897); Les Ames perdues (1899), another anarchist novel; La Charpente (1900); Thérèse Degaudy (1902); Le Crime du docteur (1903); Le Docteur Harambur (1904); Le Millionaire (1905); and Sous le fardeau (1906).