CLADEL, LEON (1835-1892), French novelist, was born at Montauban (Tarn-et-Garonne) on the 13th of March 1835. The son of an artisan, he studied law at Toulouse and became a solicitor's clerk in Paris. He made a reputation in a limited circle by his first book, Les Martyrs ridicules (1862), a novel for which Charles Baudelaire, whose literary disciple Cladel was, wrote a preface. He then returned to his native district of Quercy, where he produced a series of pictures of peasant life in Eral le dompteur (1865), Le Nommé Qouael (1868) and other volumes. Returning to Paris he published the two novels which are generally acknowledged as his best work, Le Bouscassié (1869) and La Fête votive de Saint Bartholomée Porte-glaive (1872). Une Maudite (1876) was judged dangerous to the public morals and cost its author a month's imprisonment. Other works by Cladel are Les Va-nu-pieds (1873), a volume of short stories; N'a qu'un œil (1882), Urbains et ruraux (1884), Gueux de marque (1887), and the posthumous Juive errante (1897). He died at Sèvres on the 20th of July 1892.
See La Vie de Léon Cladel (Paris, 1905), by his daughter Judith Cladel, containing also an article on Cladel by Edmond Picard, a complete list of his works, and of the critical articles on his work.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)