Francois Juste Marie Raynouard - Encyclopedia


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FRANCOIS JUSTE MARIE RAYNOUARD (1761-1836), French dramatist and savant, was born at Brignoles (Provence), on the 8th of September 1761. He was educated for the bar and practised at Draguignan. In 1791 he went to Paris as deputy to the Legislative Assembly, but after the fall of the Girondists, to whose party he was attached, he had to go into hiding. He was, however, discovered and imprisoned in Paris. During his imprisonment he wrote his play Caton d'Utique (1794). Eleonore de Bavieres and Les Templiers were accepted by the Comedie Francaise. Les Templiers was produced in 1805, and, in spite of the protests of Geoffroy, had a great success Raynouard was admitted to the Academy in 1807, and from 1817 to 1826 he was perpetual secretary. He wrote other plays, in one of which, Les Etats de Blois (acted 1810), he gave offence to Napoleon by his freedom of speech, but, realizing that the public taste had changed and that the romanticists were to triumph, he abandoned the stage and gave himself up to linguistic studies. He was admitted to the Academy of Inscriptions in 1815. His researches into the Provencal dialect were somewhat inexact, but his enthusiasm and perseverance promoted the study of the subject. His chief works are Choix de poesies originates des troubadours (6 vols., 1816-1821), of which the sixth volume, Grammaire comparee des langues de l'Europe latine dans leurs rap ports avec la langue des troubadours (1821), was separately published; Lexique roman (6 vols., 1838-1844). He spent the last years of his life at Passy, where he died on the 27th of October 1836.

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