The New Student's Reference Work/Saint-Pierre, Jacques Henri Bernardin de
Saint-Pierre (săn′-pyȧr′), Jacques Henri Bernardin de, was born at Havre, France, Jan. 19, 1737. As a boy he made a voyage to Martinique and studied at Caen and Rouen. He worked for a while as an engineer, made voyages and journeys, was a disciple of Rousseau, and wished to found an ideal state on the shores of the Sea of Aral. It was not till 1771 that his first book appeared, Voyage to the Isle of France, which at first was hardly noticed. He is remembered chiefly as the author of the beautiful story of Paul and Virginia, which was quickly scattered over Europe in English, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Polish and Russian translations. Napoleon took it with him on his Italian campaign, re-read it at St. Helena and heaped many favors on St. Pierre, which enabled him to spend his old age comfortably among his flowers at his country house at Éragny, where he died on Jan. 21, 1814.