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La Villemarque Theodore Claude Henri

LA VILLEMARQUE THEODORE CLAUDE HENRI, VICOMTE HERSART DE (1815-1895), French philologist and man of letters, was born at Keransker, near Quimperld, on the 6th of July 1815. He was descended from an old Breton family, which counted among its members a Hersart who had followed Saint Louis to the Crusade, and another who was a companion in arms of Du Guesclin. La Yilleniarque devoted himself to the elucidation of the monuments of Breton literature. Introduced in 1851 by Jacob Grimm as correspondent to the Academy of Berlin, he became in 1858 a member of the Academy of Inscriptions. His works include: Ccnlfs populaires des anciens Bretons (1842), to which was prefixed an essay on the origin of the romances of the Round Table; Essai stir rkistoire de la tongue bretonne (1837); Poemes des bardes bretons du sisifme tilde (1850); La Ltgende ceilique en Irelande. en Cambrie tl en Bretagne (1859). The popular Breton songs published by him .in 1839 as Barsas Brcis were considerably retouched. La Villemarqui's work has been superseded by the work of later scholars, but he has the merit of having done much to arouse popular interest in his subject. He died at Keransker on the 8th of December 1895.

On the subject of the doubtful authenticity of Barsas Brris, see Luael's Preface to his Chansons populairts de la Basst-Brttagne, and, for a list of works on the subject, the Rente Cetoqu* (voL v.).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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