"Freethinking Christians," but in later life he "ceased to be a member of any sect" (Dict. Nat. Biog.). D. Oct. 13, 1855.
Asseline, Louis, French writer. B. 1829. He abandoned the law for political and anti-clerical journalism, and was one of the most ardent opponents of reaction under Napoleon III. He founded La Libre Pensée (1866), which was suppressed, and then edited La Pensée Nouvelle (1867-69). In 1869 he helped to found the Encyclopedia Générale, and in 1871 he became editor of Le Musée Universel. In his later years he served on the Paris Municipal Council. D. April 6, 1878.
Assezat, Jules, French writer. B. Jan. 21, 1832. The son of a compositor, he entered the journalistic world at an early age and won a considerable reputation by his pen. He contributed to La Pensée Nouvelle, and edited Lamettrie's L'Homme-Machine (1865) and the complete works of Diderot (20 vols., 1875-77). Assezat was the most learned and enthusiastic student of the Encyclopaedists in his time, and he was in later years Secretary of the Anthropological Society. D. June 24, 1876.
Assolant, Professor Jean Baptiste Alfred, French historian and novelist. B. Mar. 20, 1827. Ed. College Stanilas, Lycée Charlemagne, and École Normale Supérieure, Paris. He taught history at, in succession, Orleans, Poitiers, and Soissons. In the end his outspoken Rationalism closed the academic world against him, and he took to journalism and fiction. He prided himself on having adopted both the views and the style of Voltaire. D. Feb. 4, 1886.
Astruc, Jean, M.D., French physician and founder of Biblical criticism. B. Mar. 19, 1684. Astruc was professor of anatomy at Toulouse (1710), then at Montpellier, and later of medicine at Paris. He had a high position in the medical world when, in 1753, he published his famous Conjectures sur les mémoires originaux dont il parait que Moise's est servi pour composer le livre de Genèse, which for the first time divided the Mosaic narrative into Jalivist and Elohist documents. He affected opposition to the philosophers, who returned it with interest, but he died "without the sacraments" (see J. M. Robertson's Short History of Freethought, ii, 256). D. May 5, 1766.
Aszo y Del Rio, Professor Ignacio Jordan d', Spanish jurist. B. 1742. He was a professor of law at Madrid University, and a powerful supporter of Aranda [see] in checking the Jesuits and the ecclesiastical authorities. His Instituciones del Dereclw Civil de Castilla (1775) is a classic authority on Spanish law; and he also wrote learnedly on philology and natural history. Like Aranda, he was a Voltairean, and a friend of progress and enlightenment. D. 1814.
Atkinson, H. G., philosophical writer. B. 1812. Ed. Charterhouse School. In 1845 he met Harriet Martineau, who co-operated with him in writing his Letters on the Laws of Man's Nature and Development (1851). Miss Martineau tells us that she wrote a fifth of the work, for which she was violently attacked. The doctrine is rather Pantheism than "Atheism," as it is usually described. Atkinson after wards contributed to the National Reformer and other Rationalist periodicals. D. Dec. 28, 1884.
Auerbach, Berthold, German novelist. B. Feb. 28, 1812. Ed. Tubingen, Munich, and Heidelberg Universities. Auerbach, a Jew, had received a thorough training in law, philosophy, and theology, and it was not long before he abandoned the Jewish faith for the creed of Spinoza. He translated Spinoza's works into German (5 vols., 1841). In 1843 he began to write stories based upon his early life which put him in the front rank of