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Work(s) of Jean de La Fontaine


This listing contains work(s) of Jean de La Fontaine available for reading. Click on a book title's link below to select a book to read online.

[Biography of Jean de La Fontaine]
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Biography of Jean de La Fontaine [Top]

Jean de La Fontaine was born on the 8th of July, 1621, at
Chateau-Thierry, and his family held a respectable position there.

His education was neglected, but he had received that genius which makes
amends for all. While still young the tedium of society led him into
retirement, from which a taste for independence afterwards withdrew him.

He had reached the age of twenty-two, when a few sounds from the lyre of
Malherbe, heard by accident, awoke in him the muse which slept.

He soon became acquainted with the best models: Pheedrus, Virgil, Horace
and Terence amongst the Latins; Plutarch, Homer and Plato, amongst the
Greeks; Rabelais, Marot and d'Urfe, amongst the French; Tasso, Ariosto
and Boccaccio, amongst the Italians.

He married, in compliance with the wishes of his family, a beautiful,
witty and chaste woman, who drove him to despair.

He was sought after and cherished by all distinguished men of letters.
But it was two Ladies who kept him from experiencing the pangs of

La Fontaine, if there remain anything of thee, and if it be permitted to
thee for a moment to soar above all time; see the names of La Sabliere
and of Hervard pass with thine to the ages to come!

The life of La Fontaine was, so to speak, only one of continual
distraction. In the midst of society, he was absent from it. Regarded
almost as an imbecile by the crowd, this clever author, this amiable man,
only permitted himself to be seen at intervals and by friends.

He had few books and few friends.

Amongst a large number of works that he has left, everyone knows his
fables and his tales, and the circumstances of his life are written in
a hundred places.

He died on the 16th of March, 1695.

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