The New International Encyclopædia/Furetière, Antoine

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FURETIÈRE, fụrtyâr′, Antoine (1620-88). A noted French philologist, lexicographer, and novelistic satirist. He was born in Paris, was trained for the law and the Church, but afterwards gave his life to letters. He published a volume of verse (1655), and two satires, the Nouvelle allégorique, ou Histoire des derniers troubles arrivés au royaume d'eloquence (1658), and Voyage de Mercure (1659). These won him an academic seat (1662). Already he had begun the preparation of a dictionary which, as its copyright ‘privilege’ states, was to contain all French words, old as well as modern. For twelve years he labored on it, when in 1674 a royal decree was issued forbidding any one to publish a dictionary till that of the Academy should appear. He published his own dictionary, notwithstanding, in 1684, ten years before the first dictionary of the Academy was ready. That body behind closed doors condemned him for plagiarism, a slander tardily refuted by the appearance of their own dictionary in 1694. Furetière was expelled from the Academy (1685), and his right to print in France revoked. He resisted with wit and courage in a shower of epigrams, but under the strain and the disappointment, he died in Paris, May 14, 1688, two years before his dictionary appeared at Rotterdam (1690). He was also a realistic novelist. Among his novels is Le roman bourgeois (1666). Furetière's dictionary was edited by Basnage in 1701, and again revised in 1725. It furnished the basis for the Dictionnaire de Trévoux that at length displaced it. Consult Körting, Geschichte des franzosischen Romans, vol. ii. (2d ed., Oppeln, 1891).