Leon Gozlan - Encyclopedia

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LEON GOZLAN (1806-1866), French novelist and playwriter, was born on the 1st of September 1806, at Marseilles. When he was still a boy, his father, who had made a large fortune as a ship-broker, met with a series of misfortunes, and Leon, before completing his education, had to go to sea in order to earn a living. In 1828 we find him in Paris, determined to run the risks of literary life. His townsman, Joseph Mery, who was then making himself famous by his political satires, introduced him to several newspapers, and Gozlan's brilliant articles in the Figaro did much harm to the already tottering government of Charles X. His first novel was Les Memoires d'un apothicaire (1828), and this was followed by numberless others, among which may be mentioned Washington Levert et Socrate Leblanc (1838), Le Notaire de Chantilly (1836), Aristide Froissart (1843) (one of the most curious and celebrated of his productions), Les Nuits du Pere Lachaise (1846), Le Tapis vent (1855), La Folle du logis (1857), Les Emotions de Polydore Marasquin (1857), &c. His best-known works for the theatre are La Pluie et le beau temps (1861), and (1850), two curtain-raisers which have kept the stage; Le Lion empaille (1848), La Queue du chien d'Alcibiade (1849), Louise de Nanteuil (1854), Le Gateau des reines (1855), Les Paniers de la comtesse (1852); and he adapted several of his own novels to the stage. Gozlan also wrote a romantic and picturesque description of the old manors and mansions of his country entitled Les Chateaux de France (2 vols., 1844), originally published (1836) as Les Tourelles, which has some archaeological value, and a biographical essay on Balzac (Balzac chez lui, 1862). He was made a member of the Legion of Honour in 1846, and in 1859 an officer of that order. Gozlan died on the 14th of September 1866, in Paris.

See also P. Audebrand, Leon Gozlan (1887).

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