Alphonse Daudet

Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

Daudet, Alphonse

Daudet, Alphonse (älfôNsˈ dōdāˈ), 1840–97, French writer, b. Nîmes (Provence). Daudet made his mark with gentle naturalistic stories and novels portraying French life both in the provinces and in Paris. At the age of 16, after his father had suffered financial losses, he was obliged to serve as study master (maître d'études) in a school at Cévennes. With the help and encouragement of his older brother, he went to Paris, where he began his literary career with the publication of a small volume of poetry, Les Amoureuses (1857). His career was assured with the success of Lettres de mon moulin (1869, tr. Letters from My Mill, 1900), a group of delightful, Provence-inspired short stories.

Le Petit Chose (1868) is a semiautobiographical novel touchingly descriptive of his life at boarding school and sometimes compared to Dickens's David Copperfield. It was followed in rapid succession by Aventures prodigieuses de Tartarin de Tarascon (1872), Contes du lundi (1873), Fromont jeune et Risler aîné (1874), Jack (1876), Le Nabab (1877), Les Rois en exil (1879), Numa Roumestan (1881), L'Évangeliste (1883), Sapho (1884), La Belle Nivernaise (1886), and L'Immortel (1888). Daudet was at once objective and personal, and his works, permeated by an engaging sense of humor, wistfulness, and subtle irony, were drawn largely from his own experience. Two volumes of reminiscences, Souvenirs d'un homme de lettres and Trente ans de Paris, appeared in 1888. Harrowing diaries of his lingering death from syphilis, La Doulou, were not published until 1930 (tr. In the Land of Pain, 2003). His brother, Louis Marie Ernst Daudet (1837–1921), was a historian. His son was Léon Daudet.


See study by M. Sachs (1965).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Daudet, Alphonse


Born May 13, 1840, in Nimes; died Dec. 15, 1897, in Paris. French writer. Son of a manufacturer.

In 1858, Daudet published a collection of poems entitled The Lovers. A book of short stories and sketches about Provence entitled Letters From My Mill (1869) brought him literary fame. During the 1870’s, Daudet drew close to the naturalist school, headed by E. Zola (although he never regarded himself as an exponent of naturalism). In this period he wrote a number of novels permeated with sharp social criticism, including Fromont the Younger and Risler the Elder (1874), The Nabob (1877), The Kings in Exile (1879), Numa Roumestan (1881), and Sappho (1884), in which he presented a wide panorama of the mores of the aristocratic and parliamentary circles, the well-to-do bourgeoisie, artistic bohemians, the demimonde, and to some extent the workers’ milieu of that time. The baneful influence of religious fanaticism is shown in the novel The Evangelist (1883). In the novel The Immortal (1885), Daudet ridiculed sterile official scholarship. The novels The Little Boy (1868) and Jack (1876) portray the emergence of a personality as well as problems of upbringing and education. The trilogy Tartarin of Tarascon (1872), Tartarin in the Alps (1885), and Port-Tarascon (1890) is a keen satire of philistinism. Daudet also wrote several plays, among them The Woman From Aries (1872) and The Struggle for Life (1889), as well as a series of literary memoirs entitled Reminiscences of a Man of Letters (1888) and Thirty Years In Paris (1888).


Oeuvres completes illustrées, vols. 1-20. Paris, 1929-31.
In Russian translation:.
Sobr. soch., vols. 1-7. Moscow, 1965.


Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1959.
Zola, E. “Al’fons Dode.” Sobr. soch., vol. 25. Moscow, 1966.
Puzikov, A. I. “Al’fons Dode i realisticheskie traditsii.” In Portrety frantsuzskikh pisatelei. Moscow, 1967.
Bornecque, J. H. Les Années d’apprentissage d’ A. Daudet. Paris, 1951.
Dobie, G. V. A. Daudet. London, 1949.
Sachs, M. The Career of A. Daudet. Cambridge (Mass.), 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Before leaving the store, I impulsively purchased two books: a first edition of Knight's Gambit (1949), an obscure collection of short stories by William Faulkner; and a lovely two-volume 1930s edition of Alphonse Daudet's novella The Tartarin of Tarascon, a French adventure tale inspired by Don Quixote, originally published in 1872.
This was a topic of discussion at a recent international conference (INCC, Cancun, 1 April, 2008) Compare "La Derniere Classe", by Alphonse Daudet, a story about a French teacher in Alsace being replaced by another who would teach only in German.
She held soirees for Twain and Alphonse Daudet, had a touching reunion with Flaubert and was indirectly responsible for his meeting with Henry James, who thought her 'handsome and agreeable'.
Of these, "Alphonse Daudet" (1898), "Tales of the Sea" (1898), and "A Middle-Class Family" (1906) were published in their entirety, while a fourth piece on Rudyard Kipling possibly appeared as an unsigned and greatly shortened review.
Indeed, throughout his life he encountered many prominent political and cultural figures, a number of whom make cameo appearances in this biography; these include Jules Massenet, Marcel Proust, Alphonse Daudet, Pierre Loti, Sarah Bernhardt, Sacha Guitry, Catulle Mendes, King Edward VII and his wife Queen Alexandra, Pauline Viardot, and Jean Cocteau.
It was through his friend Lucien Daudet, the gay son of novelist Alphonse Daudet, that Cocteau entered the world of belle epoque Parisian salons immortalized by Marcel Proust, who was one of his early idols.
letters is the collaboration of Alphonse Daudet and Paul Arene, who
They did not understand me." Alphonse Daudet, the playwright from Nimes who wrote the story of L'Arlesienne, said: "I am sunk in my armchair and 250 years old.