François René Alphonse de Chateaubriand

François René Alphonse de Chateaubriand

Saint-Malo, Departement d'Ille-et-Vilaine, Bretagne, France
Death 4 Jul 1848 (aged 79)
Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Burial Saint-Malo, Departement d'Ille-et-Vilaine, Bretagne, France
Memorial ID 8099 · View Source
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Writer, Diplomat, Vicomte de Chateaubriand. Born in Saint-Malo, the youngest of ten children of Apolline de Bedee and Rene de Chateaubriand, Comte de Combourg. At seventeen, he joined the army as a second lieutenant, and was a captain within two years. At the outbreak of the French Revolution, he was initially sympathetic, but as it devolved into excess, he left France for North America in early 1791. He visited New York, Boston, Lexington, Albany, and the Niagara Falls region among others. He recorded tribal customs, zoological, political, and economic observations. The trip proved fruitful as it eventually became the inspiration of his novels 'Atala' (1801),'Rene '(1802), and 'Les Natchez ' (1826). He returned to France in 1792, and joined the Royalist army under Louis-Joseph de Bourbon, Prince de Conde. He was wounded at the siege of Thionville, and was taken to Jersey to recovery and exile. By May 1793, he was in London, living in poverty as were most of the French refugees in England. He made a substance living by offering French lessons and doing translations. His first published work, 'Essai sur les Revolutions' (1797) followed. In 1800, amnesty was issued to emigres returning to France, and he returned to edit the 'Mercure de France.' In 1802, he won recognition with his work, 'Genie du christianisme' (The Genius of Christianity). The treatise won him an appointment from Napoleon as first secretary to the embassy at Rome the following year, from which he resigned in 1804. In 1809, he published 'Les Martyrs' (1809), a novel with Christian theme, and 'Itinéraire de Paris à Jérusalem' (1811), an account of his travels throughout the Mediterranean region. He was elected to the French Academy in 1811. After the restoration of the monarchy he was created a vicomte in 1815. He was posted to the Berlin embassy in 1821, from which he was transferred to London in 1822. He also acted as French plenipotentiary at the Congress of Verona that same year. He continued to write, and published a novella, 'Les aventures du dernier Abencerage' (The Adventures of the Last Abencerrage), which appeared in 1826. After fallout from a politically unstable France, he was relieved of his office in June 1824; the political pamphlet 'Mémoire sur la captivité de madame la duchesse de Berry' (1833) and others championing of the exiled royal dynasty, ended his political career. He withdrew from political life and lived as a veritable recluse. He published the biography of Armand de Rance, 'Vie de Rance' in 1844, but last years of his life were spent completing his 'Mémoires d'outre-tombe' (Memoirs from the Tomb, 1849) which he intended as a posthumous publication. Upon his death, according to his wishes, he was interred on the island of Grand Be near Saint-Malo, which was accessible only when the tide was out. Many scholars name him as a transitional bridge between the classical to the romantic school of writing.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 7 Jan 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8099
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for François René Alphonse de Chateaubriand (4 Sep 1768–4 Jul 1848), Find a Grave Memorial no. 8099, citing Grand Bé Island, Saint-Malo, Departement d'Ille-et-Vilaine, Bretagne, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .