Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand

Chateaubriand, François René, vicomte de

François René Chateaubriand, vicomte de (fräNswä´ rənā´ vēkôNt´ də shätōbrēäN´), 1768–1848, French writer. Chateaubriand was a founder of romanticism in French literature. Of noble birth, he grew up in his family's isolated castle of Combourg. In 1791 he visited the United States, supposedly to search for the Northwest Passage, although he apparently did not go beyond Niagara Falls. He returned to France but became an émigré and lived in England until 1800. There he published his first book, Essai historique, politique, et moral sur les révolutions (1797). The Genius of Christianity (1802, tr. 1856) made Chateaubriand the most important author of his time in France. Two tragic love stories included in this volume, "Atala" (1801) and "René" (1802), exemplify the melancholy, exotic description of nature and the evocative language that became a trademark of romantic fiction. His other works include The Martyrs (1809, tr. 1812, 1859), which celebrated the victory of Christianity over paganism, and Les Aventures du dernier Abencérage (1826), a narrative of romance set in Spain. In 1803, Napoleon appointed Chateaubriand secretary of the legation to Rome and then minister to Valaise, but in 1804, upon the execution of the duc d' Enghien, he resigned and became a bitter anti-Bonapartist. Later he supported the Bourbons and became a peer (1815), ambassador to London (1822), and minister of foreign affairs (1823–24). In 1830 he abandoned political affairs and spent his final years with Mme Récamier composing his Memoires d'outre-tombe [memoirs from beyond the tomb] (1849–50). Chateaubriand's musical prose enriched the French language. Although his accounts of travel were plagiaristic and partly imaginary, they were rich and moving.

See his Travels in America (tr. by R. Switzer, 1968); his memoirs (ed. by R. Baldick, 1961).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand: Selected full-text books and articles

Atala; René By François-René de Chateaubriand; Irving Putter University of California Press, 1980
Librarian's tip: two novels
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Overwriting Time with Space: Memory and Forgetting in Chateaubriand's Rene By Wickhorst, Katherine French Forum, Vol. 34, No. 3, Fall 2009
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Hybridity and Ethics in Chateaubriand's Atala By Moscovici, Claudia Nineteenth-Century French Studies, Spring-Summer 2001
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
How Not to Speak of Incest: Atala and the Secrets of speech.(Critical Essay) By Bouvier, Luke Nineteenth-Century French Studies, Spring-Summer 2002
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Rene's Volcano, Creative Center and Gendered Periphery By Hamilton, James F The Romanic Review, Vol. 89, No. 2, March 1998
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Consciousness of the Exotic and Exotic Consciousness in Chateaubriand By Porter, Laurence M Nineteenth-Century French Studies, Vol. 38, No. 3-4, Spring-Summer 2010
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Revolutions in Time: Chateaubriand on the Antiquity of the Earth By Sainson, Katia French Forum, Vol. 30, No. 1, Winter 2005
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
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Genius and Decrepitude: Baudelaire Reads Chateaubriand By The Romanic Review, Vol. 102, No. 1-2, January-March 2011
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
On Religion and Memory By Babette Hellemans; Willemien Otten; Burcht Pranger Fordham University Press, 2013
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