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Pigault-Lebrun

PIGAULT-LEBRUN (PIGAULT DE L'EPINOY), CHARLES ANTOINE GUILLAUME (1753-1835), French novelist, was born at Calais (he is said to have traced his pedigree on the mother's side to Eustache de St Pierre) on the 8th of April 1753. His youth was stormy. He twice carried off young ladies of some position, and was in consequence twice imprisoned by leltre de cachet. The first, a Miss Crawford, the daughter of an English merchant whose office Pigault had entered, died almost immediately after her elopement; the second, Mile de Salens, he married. He became a soldier in the Queen's Guards, then a very unsuccessful actor, and a teacher of French. At the breaking out of the great war he re-enlisted and fought at Valmy. He wrote more than twenty plays, and a large number of novels, the first of which appeared in 1787. In his old age he took to graver work, and executed an abridgement of French history in eight volumes, besides some other work. His (Euvres completes were published in twenty volumes between 1822 and 1824, but much of his work is subsequent to this collection. He died on the 24th of July 1835. The style of Pigault's novels is insignificant, and their morality very far from severe. As almost the father of a kind of literature which later developed enormously, Pigault-Lebrun deserves a certain place in literary history. Among the most celebrated of his novels may be mentioned L' Enfant du Carnaval (1792) and Ang&ique et Jeanneton de la place Maubert (1799). His Citateur (2 vols., 1803), a collection of quotations against Christianity, was forbidden and yet several times reprinted.

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

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