Émile Augier

Guillaume Victor Émile Augier (French pronunciation: ​[ɡijom viktɔʁ emil oʒje]; 17 September 1820 – 25 October 1889) was a French dramatist. He was the thirteenth member to occupy seat 1 of the Académie française on 31 March 1857.

Émile Augier
Augier by Antoine Samuel Adam-Salomon, circa 1870s
Augier by Antoine Samuel Adam-Salomon, circa 1870s
Born17 September 1820
Valence, Drôme, Kingdom of France
Died25 October 1889 (aged 69)
Croissy-sur-Seine, France
Notable worksL'Aventurière
Les Fourchambault
Notable awardsAcadémie française

Augier Autograph


Augier was born at Valence, Drôme, the grandson of Pigault Lebrun, and belonged to the well-to-do bourgeoisie in spirit as well as by birth. After a good education and legal training, he wrote a play in two acts and in verse, La Ciguë (1844), which was refused at the Théâtre Français, but produced with as considerable success at the Odéon. This settled his career. From then on, at fairly regular intervals, either alone or in collaboration with other writers—Jules Sandeau, Eugène Marin Labiche, Édouard Foussier—he produced plays such as Le Fils de Giboyer (1862) - which was regarded as an attack on the clerical party in France, and was surely brought out by the direct intervention of the emperor. His last comedy, Les Fourchambault, belongs to the year 1879. After that date he wrote no more, restrained by the fear of producing inferior work.[1]

He died at his home at Croissy-sur-Seine.[1]


Augier described his own life as "without incident". L'Aventurière (1848), the first of his important works, already shows a deviation from romantic ideals; and in the Mariage d'Olympe (1855), the courtesan is shown as she is, not glorified as in Dumas's Dame aux Camélias. In Gabrielle (1849), the husband, not the lover, is the sympathetic character. Augier provided the libretto for the first opera composed by Charles Gounod, Sapho (1851). In this version of the story a courtesan Glycère is the perfidious villainess, and the self-sacrificing title character is wholly heterosexual, not a "sapphist". In the Lionnes pauvres (1858) the wife who sells her favours comes under the lash. Greed of gold, social moralization, ultramontanism, lust of power, these are satirized Les Effrontés (1861), Le Fils de Giboyer (1862), La Contagion announced under the title of Le Baron d'Estrigaud (1866), Lions et renards (1869) - which, with Le Gendre de Monsieur Poirier (1854), written in collaboration with Jules Sandeau, reach the high-water mark of Augier's art; in Philiberte (1853), he produced a graceful and delicate drawing-room comedy; and in Jean de Thommeray, acted in 1873 after the great reverses of 1870, the regenerating note of patriotism rings high and clear.[1]

His last two dramas, Madame Caverlet (1876) and Les Fourchambault (1879), are problem plays. But it would be unfair to suggest that Augier was a mere preacher. He was a moralist in the same sense in which the term can be applied to Molière and the great dramatists. Nor does the interest of dramas depend on elaborate plot. It springs from character. His men and women are real, several of them typical. Augier's first drama, La Ciguë, belongs to a time (1844) when romantic drama was on the wane; and his almost elusively domestic range of subject scarcely lends itself to lyric bursts of pure poetry. His verse, if not that of a great poet, has excellent dramatic qualities, while the prose of his prose dramas is admirable for directness, alertness, sinew and a large and effective wit.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Marzials 1911.
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainMarzials, Frank Thomas (1911). "Augier, Guillaume Victor Émile" . In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

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1820 in France

Events from the year 1820 in France.

1820 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1820.

1844 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1844.

1854 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1854.

1876 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1876.

1889 in France

Events from the year 1889 in France.

Boulevard theatre (aesthetic)

Boulevard theatre is a theatrical aesthetic that emerged from the boulevards of Paris' old city.

Edward Rose

Edward Rose (7 August 1849 – 31 December 1904) was an English playwright, best known for his adaptations of novels for the stage, mainly The Prisoner of Zenda. He was also the theatre critic for The Sunday Times.


Gabrielle may refer to:

Gabrielle (given name), a French female given name derived from Gabriel

Jules Sandeau

Léonard Sylvain Julien (Jules) Sandeau (French: [sɑ̃do]; 19 February 1811 – 24 April 1883) was a French novelist.

Sandeau was born at Aubusson (Creuse), and was sent to Paris to study law, but spent much of his time in unruly behaviour with other students. He met George Sand, then Madame Dudevant, at Le Coudray in the house of a friend, and when she came to Paris in 1831 they had a relationship. The intimacy did not last long, but it produced Rose et Blanche (1831), a novel written together under the pseudonym J. Sand, from which George Sand took her famous pseudonym.

Sandeau continued to produce novels and plays for nearly fifty years. His major works are:

Marianna (1839), in which he draws a portrait of George Sand

Le Docteur Herbeau (1841)

Catherine (1845)

Mademoiselle de la Seiglière (1848), a successful picture of society under Louis Philippe, dramatized in 1851

Madeleine (1848)

La Chasse au roman (1849)

Sacs et parchemins (1851)

La Maison de Penarvan (1858)

La Roche aux mouettes (1871)The famous play, Le Gendre de M. Poirier, is one of several which he wrote in collaboration with Émile Augier—the novelist usually contributing the story and the dramatist the theatrical form. Sandeau's novels were less popular than his plays.

Sandeau had been made conservateur of the Mazarin library in 1853, elected to the Académie française in 1858, and appointed librarian of St Cloud in 1859. At the suppression of this latter office, after the fall of the Second French Empire, he was pensioned.

Jules Sandeau died in Paris in 1883 and was buried in the Cimetière du Montparnasse.

List of French playwrights

This is an incomplete list of playwrights from France in chronological order, according to date of birth.

List of compositions by Charles Gounod

This is a list of musical compositions by the 19th-century French composer Charles Gounod (1818–93), sorted by musical category and date.

Lucien Besnard

Lucien Besnard (19 January 1872, Nonancourt – 1955) was a French playwright and drama critic. He held a doctorate in law and was graduated in Russian from the École des langues orientales.

The Académie Française awarded Lucien Besnard two prizes:

1926: the Prix Émile Augier for L’homme qui n’est plus de ce monde

1928: the Prix Toirac for Le cœur partagéIn 1932, he adapted in French The White Horse Inn, German operetta by Ralph Benatzky.

Lucien Besnard is buried at cimetière de Vaugirard in Paris.

Léonor Jean Christine Soulas d'Allainval

Léonor-Jean-Christin Soulas d'Allainval, called abbé d'Allainval, (c. 1700, Chartres – 2 May 1753, Hôtel-Dieu de Paris) was an 18th-century French playwright.

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Prix Émile Augier

The Prix Émile Augier is a literary prize bestowed by the Académie française, with a silver medal from the Academy.

It is an annual award established in 1994 by regrouping of the foundations Émile Augier, Eugène Brieux, Paul Hervieu and de Soussay. It is intended to reward a work relating to drama.

Sapho (Gounod)

Sapho is a 3-act opera by Charles Gounod to a libretto by Émile Augier which was premiered by the Paris Opera at the Salle Le Peletier on 16 April 1851. It was presented only 9 times in its initial production, but was a succès d'estime for the young composer, with the critics praising Act 3 in particular. It was later revived in 2-act (1858) and 4-act (1884) versions, achieving a total of 48 performances.

Steven Gilborn

Steven Neil Gilborn (July 15, 1936 – January 2, 2009) was an American actor and educator.

Gilborn was born in New Rochelle, New York. He attended Swarthmore College, where he was awarded a bachelor's degree in English and earned a Ph.D. in dramatic literature from Stanford University in 1969, where his dissertation provided a psychoanalytic perspective on the plays of the 19th-century French dramatist Émile Augier.Before becoming an actor, Gilborn was a Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and faculty adviser to the Gilbert and Sullivan Society. He also taught at Stanford University, Columbia University and at the University of California, Berkeley. He was married to American landscape photographer Karen Halverson.

Gilborn guest-starred in a number of notable television series including Columbo (4 episodes), Perfect Strangers, Boy Meets World, Malcolm in the Middle, Touched by an Angel, JAG, ER, The West Wing, L.A. Law, The Practice, NYPD Blue and The Wonder Years.

He had recurring role in the sitcom Ellen (as "Harold Morgan", Ellen's father). Another notable recurring role was his three episode stint as "Mr. Collins", Kevin Arnold's algebra teacher on The Wonder Years. Film credits include "Mr. Phillips" in The Brady Bunch Movie and the hotel owner in Joyride.

Gilborn died at age 72 on January 2, 2009, of cancer at his home in North Chatham, New York.

Théâtre du Gymnase Marie Bell

The Théâtre du Gymnase or Théâtre du Gymnase Marie Bell, is a theatre in Paris, at 38, Boulevard Bonne-Nouvelle in the 10th arrondissement (métro : Bonne Nouvelle).

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