(properly, Victor-Henri, Marquis de Rochefort-Luçay). Born June 30, 1831, in Paris; died July 1, 1913, in Aix-les-Bains. French journalist and political figure.
During the period 1856–58, Rochefort wrote his first works of dramatic criticism and some vaudevilles. During the 1860’s, he contributed to the democratic press; he began publishing the weekly newspaper La Lanterne (The Lantern) in 1868. Roche-fort won great popularity with his sharp criticism of the Bona-partist regime. Sentenced to prison in August 1868, he took refuge in Brussels, where he continued to publish his paper; it was sent to France from Belgium.
Rochefort returned to Paris in 1869 and was elected to the Corps Législatif. In the same year he founded a republican newspaper, La Marseillaise. In February 1870 he was arrested on the charge that at the funeral of V. Noir he called for the overthrow of the Empire. Freed by the revolution of Sept. 4, 1870, he became a member of the Government of National Defense. He did not, however, play an active part in the government, and he withdrew from it on Nov. 1, 1870. From February to May 1871 he published the newspaper Le Mot d’ordre (The Watchword), which had a radical republican orientation. During the period of the Paris Commune of 1871, Rochefort condemned the Versaillais but at the same time opposed the revolutionary policies of the Communards. Arrested in 1871 after the fall of the Commune, he was deported to New Caledonia in 1873. He escaped to Great Britain in 1874 and subsequently settled in Geneva. While abroad, he resumed publication of La Lanterne.
Under the amnesty of 1880, Rochefort returned to France; there he founded the newspaper L’Intransigeant (The Intransigent), which was popular in leftist circles. In the late 1880’s he abandoned the bourgeois radical camp and joined the Boulan-gist movement. He subsequently sided with the reactionaries and was a violent opponent of Dreyfus during the Dreyfus affair.
WORKSLes Adventures de ma vie, vols. 1–5. Paris, 1896–98. Abridged Russian translation: Prikliucheniia moeizhizni. Moscow-Leningrad, 1933.
REFERENCESZevaès, A. H . Rochefort. Paris, 1948.
Williams, R. L. H. Rochefort. New York, 1966.
V. A. DUNAEVSKII