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Chateaubriand François René de

Chateaubriand François René de (1768—1848)

French writer and statesman, a pioneer of the romantic movement, most famous for his brilliant autobiography. Chateaubriand was born on September 4, 1768, in Saint-Malo, Brittany. He entered the French army in 1786, and was in Paris during the early years of the French Revolution. Refusing to join the Royalists or the radical revolutionaries, he went to the United States in 1791 supposedly to search for the Northwest Passage. He traveled, however, only on the eastern coast. Chateaubriand returned to France in 1792 and fought with the Royalist army. Several months later, wounded and ill, he escaped to England (1793).

Returning to France (1800) under a false name, Chateaubriand found favor with Napoleon, who gave him a diplomatic post. He resigned and turned against Napoleon in 1804 upon the execution of Louis, duc d'Enghien. After the Bourbon restoration he was made a peer of France in 1815, ambassador to Britain in 1822, and minister of foreign affairs in 1823-24. He died on July 4, 1848, in Paris.

Chateaubriand was one of the most important French writers of the first half of the 19th century. He introduced new and exotic types of character and background, principally the Native Americans and scenery of North America, and emphasized introspection, generally of a pessimistic nature, as exemplified in his novels Atala (1801) and René (1802). These new literary elements mark him as a forerunner of the romantic period. In addition, in The Genius of Christianity (1802; trans. 1856) he asserted that Christianity was morally and aesthetically superior to other religions. This assertion profoundly influenced the religious and literary life of his time. Among his other important works are other defenses of Christianity, literary accounts of his travels in America, and his posthumously published autobiography, Memoires d'outre-tombe (Memoirs from Beyond the Tomb,1849-50).

France, 1948, Portrait of Chateaubriand

Fujeira, 1972, Portrait of Chateaubriand

Fujeira, 1972, Sign of the Zodiac

Guinea, 2011, Chateaubriand, La Sylphide

Monaco, 1968, Portrait of Chateaubriand

Monaco, 1968, Le Genie de christianisme

Monaco, 1968, Rene

Monaco, 1968, Le Dernier Abencerage

Monaco, 1968, Les Martyrs

Monaco, 1968, Atala

St. Pierre and Miquelon, 1968, Chateaubriand, ship

France, 1948.07.18, St. Malo. Death centenary of Chateaubriand

France, 1952.04.20, Savigny s/Orge. Exposition of Chatobriand

France, 1968.07—08, Saint-Malo. Chateaubriand

France, 1986.04.08, Paris. Chateaubriand

France, 1986.06.18, Combourg. Chateau of Chateaubriand

France, 1987.06.26, Combourg. Chateau of Chateaubriand

France, 1990/2006, Chatenay Malabry. Chateaubriand

France, 1998, Saint-Malo. Chateaubriand

France, 1998.06.08, Fougeres. Chateaubriand

France, 1998.07.04, Saint-Malo. Tomb of Chateaubriand

France, 1998.07—09, Rennes. Chateaubriand

France, 1998.08.18, Combourg. Chateau of Chateaubriand

France, 1998.09.26, Saint-Malo. Chateaubriand

France, 1999/2000, Parame. Chateaubriand

France, 2006, House of Chateaubriand, Chatenay Malabry

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