1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Souvestre, Émile

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22333021911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 25 — Souvestre, Émile

SOUVESTRE, ÉMILE (1806–1854), French novelist, was born on the 15th of April 1806. He was the son of a civil engineer, a native of Morlaix. He was by turns a bookseller's assistant, a private schoolmaster, a journalist, and master at the grammar schools of Brest and of Mulhausen. He settled in Paris in 1836, where he was made (1848) professor in a school for the instruction of civil servants. He began his literary career with a drama, played at the Théâtre français in 1828, the Siège de Missolonghi. In novel writing he did much better than for the stage, although he deliberately aimed at making the novel an engine of moral instruction. His best work is undoubtedly to be found in the charming Derniers Bretons (4 vols., 1835–1837) and Foyer breton (1844), where the folk-lore and natural features of his native province are worked up into story form, and in Un Philosophe sous les toils, which received in 1851 a well deserved academic prize. He also wrote a number of other works—novels, dramas, essays and miscellanies. He died in Paris on the 5th of July 1854.