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Alphonse Daudet


Buste d'Alphonse Daudet à FontvieilleAlphonse Daudet was born in Nimes, May 13, 1840. After completing his secondary education at Lyon, Alphonse Daudet mount in Paris for a position as a secretary to the Duc de Morny. The Duke died in 1865, which will decide the career of Alphonse.
Indeed, after this event, Alphonse Daudet is dedicated to writing as a columnist and novelist.

After a trip to Provence, he began to write the first texts that will be part of the famous Lettres de mon Moulin. In 1866, Alphonse Daudet obtains their publication in the newspaper The event, in the form of a series that will last all summer. The letters appear to be under Chronicles of Provence.

Some stories in this collection are among the most popular stories of our literature, as La Chèvre de monsieur Seguin, Les Trois Messes basses ou L'Élixir du révérend père Gaucher.

The first real novel by Alphonse Daudet is Le Petit Chose written in 1868. This is the autobiographical novel by Alphonse insofar as it evokes its past master of study at college Alès (in the Gard, north of Nimes). In 1874 Alphonse decides to write novels of manners as: Fromont jeune et Risler aîné but also Jack (1876), Le Nabab (1877), Kings in exile (1879), Numa Roumestan (1881) or The Immortal (1883).

During the work of novelist and playwright, he forgets not his work as a storyteller: he wrote in 1872 Tartarin de Tarascon, which was his mythical character. The Histoires du Lundi (1873), a collection of stories on the Franco-Prussian War, also reflect his taste for this kind and wonderful stories.

A less pleasant aspect of Alphonse Daudet of its anti-Semitism. In 1886, he lends money to Edouard Drumont, future founder of the Antisemitic League of France, to allow him to publish his pamphlet The Jewish France. Alphonse Daudet died in full Dreyfus affair (1897), having had time to display anti-dreyfusardes convictions despite its proximity with Emile Zola, who also will deliver his funeral oration at the Pere Lachaise cemetery.

Letters from my Mill

Les Lettres de mon Moulin en édition de pocheThe title was usually spelled typeset and "Letters from my Mill", but there are various issues under the alternative titles like "Letters from my mill"...

They have all been attributed to Alphonse Daudet but it knows that Paul Arena, among others, was the co-author of several new, as was revealed in particular Octave Mirbeau in 1884. Those that were written in collaboration with him, even by him, have a charm, a lightness of writing to them is worth a place in textbooks and in the heart of many readers : La Chèvre de monsieur Seguin, Les Vieux, La Mule du Pape, La Légende de l'homme à la cervelle d'or...

The stories located in Corsica or in Algeria (where Daudet visited) are hard, sometimes racist, which unfortunately is not unusual among intellectuals french nineteenth century.

A curiosity: The Priest of Cucugnan, quite honestly, Daudet warns that this story is not him.

The windmill of Fontvieille - Daudet Museum

The mill Daudet, in Fontvielle, actually belonged to the miller Ribes. Last mill operating in the vicinity of Fontvieille, it operated until 1935. To this date he will become the "Moulin de Daudet." Daudet often inspired by this mill in the "Letters of my Mill", where he situation including the "Secret of Master Cornille."

Alphonse Daudet even claimed to have bought the mill of Fontvielle, which is untrue. The mill has today a museum Daudet.

Le moulin de Daudet Les Lettres de mon Moulin Moulin de Fontvieille Moulin de Daudet (détail) Moulin de Fontvieille (détail) Citation de Daudet sur le moulin

Others artists at Net-Provence

Picasso - Matisse - Signac - Van Gogh - Giono - Mistral - Pagnol - Daudet - Renoir

Others pages

Fontvieille - Tartarin de Tarascon - Artistes de Provence