Louise-Jean Népomucène Lemercier

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Lemercier, Louise-Jean Népomucène

 

Born Apr. 21, 1771, in Paris; died there June 7, 1840. French playwright. Member of the Académie Française (1810).

During the Great French Revolution, Lemercier held moderate liberal views and wrote primarily about moral problems—for example, the comedy Lovelace, or Clarissa Harlowe, staged in 1792. In 1795 he published the counterrevolutionary comedy Tartuffe the Revolutionary, directed against the Jacobins. During the Directorate and the Consulate, Lemercier presented his bourgeois defensive opinions in the tragedy Agamemnon (staged in 1797) and the comedy Pinto, or The Day of the Plot (1800).

Lemercier voiced his opposition to the reactionary regime of the Restoration in the dramas The Madness of Charles VI (1814) and The Martyrs of Suli (1825). Under the influence of romanticism, he wrote the drama Christopher Columbus (1809) and dramas on subjects from French medieval history, including Louis the Saint (1818) and Clovis (1820). Lemercier also wrote An Analytical Course in the Universal History of Literature (vols. 1–4, 1817), in which he defended the artistic principles of classicism that he did not follow in his own plays.

REFERENCES

Istoriia zapadno-evropeiskogo teatra, vol. 3. Moscow, 1963.
Oblomievskii, D. Literatura frantsuzskoi revoliutsii 1789–1794: Ocherki. Moscow, 1964.
Souday, P. Les Romantiques à l’Académie. Paris, 1928.
Rousseau, L.-G. M Lemercier et Napoléon Bonaparte. Mayenne, 1958.