Léon Daudet


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(1867–1942). French novelist, essayist, journalist, and polemicist. Eschewing the delicate impressionism of his father Alphonse, Léon abandoned a medical career to attain fame with his novel Les Morticoles (1894) before embracing reactionary monarchism and becoming the thunderous editor and daily leader-writer of L' Action française, where he rampaged as an extremist bully in the French politico-literary china shop. Abhorred and beloved for his virulent prejudices, purple diatribes, and scandal-ridden private life, he was a prolific author and a more important writer and social commentator than he has generally hitherto been judged—see Le Voyage de Shakespeare (1896), Fantômes et vivants (1914), L'Hérédo (1916), Le Rêve éveillé (1926), Écrivains et artistes (8 vols., 1927–9), Paris vécu (2 vols., 1929–30).

From The New Oxford Companion to Literature in French in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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