Julien Louis Geoffroy - Encyclopedia




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JULIEN LOUIS GEOFFROY (1743-1814), French critic, was born at Rennes in 1743. He studied in the school of his native town and at the College Louis le Grand in Paris. He took orders and fulfilled for some time the humble functions of an usher, eventually becoming professor of rhetoric at the College Mazarin. A bad tragedy, Caton, was accepted at the Thedtre Francais, but was never acted. On the death of Elie Freron in 1776 the other collaborators in the air e asked Geoffroy to succeed him, and he conducted the journal until in 1792 it ceased to appear. Geoffroy was a bitter critic of Voltaire and his followers, and made for himself many enemies. An enthusiastic royalist, he published with Freron's brother-in-law, the abbe Thomas Royou (1741-1792), a journal, L'Ami du roi (1790-1792), which possibly did more harm than good to the king's cause by its ill-advised partisanship. During the Terror Geoffroy hid in the neighbourhood of Paris, only returning in 1799. An attempt to revive the failed, and Geoffroy undertook the dramatic feuilleton of the Journal des debats. His scathing criticisms had a success of notoriety, but their popularity was ephemeral, and the publication of them (5 vols., 1819-1820) as Cours de litterature dramatique proved a failure. He was also the author of a perfunctory Commentaire on the works of Racine prefixed to Lenormant's edition (1808). He died in Paris on the 27th of February 1814.

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