Born July 22, 1878, in Nancy; died Sept. 27, 1956, in Saint-Amour. French historian. Member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences (1951).
Febvre was a professor at the University of Dijon from 1912 to 1914, at the University of Strasbourg from 1919 to 1933, and at the Collège de France from 1933. In 1948 he became head of the sixth section (economic and social sciences) at the Practical School of Higher Studies. In 1929, together with M. Bloch, he founded the journal Annales d’histoire economique et sociale, (since 1946, Annales; economies, sociétés, civilisations).
Febvre emphasized that a true understanding of history requires a comprehensive understanding of society. Accordingly, he addressed himself to the study of geography, agrarian relations, trade, social structure, language, religion, culture, and historical psychology. Although his research covered events from the Middle Ages through modern times, his interests were centered on the Renaissance, in particular, the 16th century. Febvre attributed great importance to the study of social psychology in different eras, recognizing that man’s psychological makeup is determined by his place in society.
WORKSLa Terre et l’évolution humaine. Paris, 1922.
Un Destin: Martin Luther. Paris, 1928.
Le Problème de l’incroyance au XVIe siècle: La religion de Rabelais. Paris, 1947.
Combats pour l’histoire. Paris, 1965.
Pour une histoire à part entière. Paris, 1962.