Fun Facts Friday: Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon

January 13, 2023

Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon (13 January, 1674 – 17 June, 1762) was a French writer known for his poetry and tragedies.

Fun Facts Friday: Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon
Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon  image courtesy of https://www.larousse.fr/
Works by, or about, Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon*

Fun Facts about Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon:

  1. Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon was born in Dijon, France. His father, Melchior Jolyot was a notary-royal.
  2. He became an advocate (barrister or a solicitor) after graduating from the College of the Four Nations (Collège des Quatre-Nations, or Collège Mazarin after its founder Cardinal Jules Mazarin, who played a major character in Alexandre Duma‘s novel Twenty Years After and other fictional works), one of the colleges of the old University of Paris.
  3. At the office of Prieur, a Parisian lawyer, de Crébillon was able to write plays with the encouragement of his employer.
  4. During this time, the future writer met several Parisian literary figures at café Laurent, which greatly influenced him.
  5. During the years 1705 – 1717 he wrote several plays. Some were produced, and others were complete failures. At that time, he also wrote and produced Rhadamiste et Zénobie (1711), a tragedy in five acts, which is considered to be his masterpiece.
  6. The writer married a poor woman in 1707, however, she died leaving him with two young children (one of them, Claude Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon, became a novelist know for his satires of 18th Century French high society). Insolvent after his father’s death, and in severe depression, Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon surrounded himself with dogs, cats, and birds, abandoned personal hygiene, cleanliness, and smoked heavily.
  7. The big comeback of de Crébillon was in 1726 when his play Pyrrhus found great success.
  8. Until his death, the writer found respect, success, and honorifics. He was elected to the Académie française in 1731, appointed royal censor in 1735.
  9. In 1745 got a post in the royal library along with a 1,000 franc pension presented to him by Madame de Pompadour, a beloved mistress, friend, and influential advisor of King Louis XV. Madame de Pompadour was a patron of the arts and an influential persona who helped shape important aspects of the French Enlightenment.
  10. During his lifetime, many people considered Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon a better tragic poet than Voltaire.

Works by, or about, Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon*

Zohar – Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

Sources:

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Fun Facts Friday: Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon
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Fun Facts Friday: Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon
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Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon (13 January, 1674 – 17 June, 1762) was a French writer known for his poetry and tragedies, many consider him a better tragic poet than Voltaire
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