Fun Facts Friday: Guy de Maupassant

August 5, 2011

Today, August 5, is the birthday of French writer Guy de Maupassant who was born in the year 1850. If you haven’t heard of Monsieur Maupassant don’t be alarmed, he wrote mostly short stories.

Fun Facts Friday: Guy de Maupassant

1)      Was born as Henri-René-Albert-Guy de Maupassant.

2)      Even though he is known for writing he started out by studying law in Paris.

3)      Monsieur Maupassant’s law studies were interrupted in 1871 when he volunteered for the army during the Franco-Prussian War.

4)      Gustave Flaubert, a good friend of Maupassant’s mother noticed Maupassant’s interest in writing and introduced  him to Emile Zola and Henry James.

5)      Zola edited a collection of stories about the war and selected Maupassant’s “Boule de Suif” (“Ball of Fat”) to be one of them.

6)      Many of his stories are set in the Franco-Prussian War.

7)      In 10 years Maupassant created an amazing body of work including six novels, 300 short stories and several non-fiction books.

8)      In a strange turn of events Maupassant’s Naturalist style influenced Zola’s writing.

9)      Maupassant contracted syphilis in his 20’s.

10)  A side effect of syphilis is insanity, Maupassant died in 1893, his 40s, in an insane asylum.


Zohar – Man of la Book




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  • Debbie August 5, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Oh – a bad boy – you’d think the threat of STDs would have kept him in line…. Oh well….

    Thanks for the fun facts. These are always such interesting posts!

    • zohar August 5, 2011 at 10:22 pm

      Thanks Debbie. From reading many, many history books I always get the feeling that anyone could have died for almost any reason – so why be careful?

  • Jennifer O. (@litendeavors) August 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    I am crazy about Maupassant, syphilitic and all. The Necklace is my favorite short story ever, next to Fitzgerald’s The Rich Boy. Thanks for covering this…

  • Okie August 11, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Wow…300+ stories. I haven’t even read the tip of the iceberg, but what I have read, I’ve really enjoyed and it always makes me want to read more of his work. Sadly, I have too much on my “to read” pile so it takes me a while to get around to new items put on the list.

    Thanks for the quick facts. 🙂

  • Ethan March 20, 2018 at 8:53 am

    At the top of the page, you said he was born in 1871, which is wrong. These were useful and interesting facts, thank you!

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