Maxime Du Camp - Encyclopedia

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MAXIME DU CAMP (1822-1894), French writer, the son of a successful surgeon, was born in Paris on the 8th of February 1822. He had a strong taste for travel, which his father's means enabled him to indulge as soon as his college days were over. Between 1844 and 1845, and again, in company with Gustave Flaubert, between 1849 and 1851, he travelled in Europe and the East, and made excellent use of his experiences in books published after his return. In 1851 he was one of the founders of the Revue de Paris (suppressed in 1858), and was a frequent contributor to the Revue des deux mondes. In 1853 he was made an officer of the Legion of Honour. He served as a volunteer with Garibaldi in 1860, and gave an account of his experiences in his Expedition des deux Siciles (1861). In 1870 he was nominated for the senate, but his election was frustrated by the downfall of the Empire. He was elected a member of the French Academy in 1880, mainly, it is said, on account of his history of the Commune, published under the title of Les Convulsions de Paris (1878-1880). His writings include among others the Chants modernes (1855), Convictions (1858); numerous works on travel, Souvenirs et paysages d'orient (1848), Egypte, Nubie, Palestine, Syrie (1852); works of art criticism, Les Salons de X8 57, X8 59, r861; novels, L'Homme au bracelet d'or (1862), Une Histoire d'amour (1889); literary studies, Theophile Gautier (1890). Du Camp was the author of a valuable book on the daily life of Paris, Paris, ses organes, ses fonctions, sa vie dans la seconde moitie du XIX e siecle (1869-1875). He published several works on social questions, one of which, the Mc urs de mon temps, was to be kept sealed in the Bibliotheque Nationale until 1910. His Souvenirs litter air es (2 vols., 1882-1883) contain much information about contemporary writers, especially Gustave Flaubert, of whom Du Camp was an early and intimate friend. He died on the 9th of February 1894. Du Camp was one of the earliest amateur photographers, and his books of travel were among the first to be illustrated by means of what was then a new art.

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