GERVAIS DELARUE (1751-1835), French historical investigator, formerly regarded as one of the chief authorities on Norman and Anglo-Norman literature, was a native of Caen. He received his education at the university of that town, and was ultimately raised to the rank of professor. His first historical enterprise was interrupted by the French Revolution, which forced him to take refuge in England, where he took the opportunity of examining a vast mass of original documents in the Tower and elsewhere, and received much encouragement, from Sir Walter Scott among others. From England he passed over to Holland, still in prosecution of his favourite task; and there he remained till in 1798 he returned to France. The rest of his life was spent in his native town, where he was chosen principal of his university. While in England he had been elected a member of the Royal Society of Antiquaries; and in his own country he was made a corresponding member of the Institute, and was enrolled in the Legion of Honour. Besides numerous articles in the Memoirs of the Royal Society of London, the Memoires de l'Institut, the Memoires de la Societe d'Agriculture de Caen, and in other periodical collections, he published separately Essais historiques sur les Bardes, les Jongleurs, et les Trouveres normands et anglo-normands (3 vols., 1834), and Recherches historiques sur la Prairie de Caen (1837); and after his death appeared Memoires historiques sur le palinod de Caen (1841), Recherches sur la tapisserie de Bayeux (1841), and Nouveaux Essais historiques sur la ville de Caen (1842). In all his writings he displays a strong partiality for everything Norman, and rates the Norman influence on French and English literature as of the very highest moment.
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