Alphonse de Lamartine

Alphonse Marie Louis de Prat de Lamartine, Knight of Pratz (French: [alfɔ̃s maʁi lwi dəpʁa də lamaʁtin]; 21 October 1790 – 28 February 1869) was a French writer, poet and politician who was instrumental in the foundation of the Second Republic and the continuation of the Tricolore as the flag of France.

Alphonse de Lamartine
Alphonse de Lamartine
Alphonse de Lamartine by François Gérard (1831)
Member of the National Assembly
for Saône-et-Loire
In office
8 July 1849 – 2 December 1851
Preceded byCharles Rolland
Succeeded byEnd of the Second Republic
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
24 February 1848 – 11 May 1848
Prime MinisterJacques-Charles Dupont
Preceded byFrançois Guizot (also Prime Minister)
Succeeded byJules Bastide
Member of the National Assembly
for Bouches-du-Rhône
In office
4 May 1848 – 26 May 1849
Preceded byNew constituency
Succeeded byJoseph Marcellin Rulhières
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
for Saône-et-Loire
In office
4 November 1837 – 24 February 1848
Preceded byClaude-Louis Mathieu
Succeeded byCharles Rolland
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
for Nord
In office
7 January 1833 – 3 October 1837
Preceded byPaul Lemaire
Succeeded byLouis de Hau de Staplande
Personal details
Alphonse Marie Louis de Prat de Lamartine

21 October 1790
Mâcon, Burgundy, France
Died28 February 1869 (aged 78)
Paris, Île-de-France, French Empire
Political partySocial Party[1] (1833–1837)
Third Party (1837–1848)
Moderate Republican (1848–1851)
Mary Ann Elisa Birch
(m. 1820; her d. 1863)
Marie Louise
EducationBelley College
ProfessionWriter, poet
Writing career
Period19th century
GenreNovel, poetry, history, theatre, biography
SubjectNature, love, spiritualism
Literary movementRomanticism
Notable worksGraziella (1852)
Years active1811–1869

Alphonse de Lamartine signing


Early years

Lamartine was born in Mâcon, Burgundy, on 21 October 1790.[2] His family were members of the French provincial nobility, and he spent his youth at the family estate. Lamartine is famous for his partly autobiographical poem, "Le lac" ("The Lake"), which describes in retrospect the fervent love shared by a couple from the point of view of the bereaved man. Lamartine was masterly in his use of French poetic forms. Raised a devout Catholic, Lamartine became a pantheist, writing Jocelyn and La Chute d'un ange. He wrote Histoire des Girondins in 1847 in praise of the Girondists.

Lamartine made his entrance into the field of poetry with a masterpiece, Les Méditations Poétiques (1820), and awoke to find himself famous.[3] He was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1825. He worked for the French embassy in Italy from 1825 to 1828. In 1829, he was elected a member of the Académie française. He was elected a deputy in 1833. In 1835 he published the "Voyage en Orient", a brilliant and bold account of the journey he had just made, in royal luxury, to the countries of the Orient, and in the course of which he had lost his only daughter. From then on he confined himself to prose.

Political career

Around 1830, Lamartine's opinions shifted in the direction of liberalism.[1] When elected in 1833 to the National Assembly, he quickly founded his own "Social Party" with some influence from Saint-Simonian ideas and established himself as a prominent critic of the July Monarchy, becoming more and more of a republican in the monarchy's last years.[1][4]

He was briefly in charge of the government during the turbulence of 1848. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 24 February 1848 to 11 May 1848. Due to his great age, Jacques-Charles Dupont de l'Eure, Chairman of the Provisional Government, effectively delegated many of his duties to Lamartine. He was then a member of the Executive Commission, the political body which served as France's joint Head of State.

Lamartine was instrumental in the founding of the Second Republic of France, having met with Republican Deputies and journalists in the Hôtel de Ville to agree on the makeup of its provisional government. Lamartine himself was chosen to declare the Republic in traditional form in the balcony of the Hôtel de Ville, and ensured the continuation of the Tricouleur as the flag of the nation.

On 25 February 1848 Lamartine said about the Tricolored Flag: "I spoke as a citizen earlier, well! Now listen to me, your Foreign Minister. If I remove the tricolor, know it, you will remove me half the external force of France! Because Europe knows the flag of his defeats and of our victories in the flag of the Republic and of the Empire. By seeing the red flag, they'll see the flag of a party! This is the flag of France, it is the flag of our victorious armies, it is the flag of our triumphs that must be addressed before Europe. France and the tricolor is the same thought, the same prestige, even terror, if necessary, for our enemies! Consider how much blood you would have to make for another flag fame! Citizens, for me, the red flag, I am not adopting it, and I'll tell you why I'm against with all the strength of my patriotism. It's that the tricolor has toured the world with the Republic and the Empire with your freedoms and your glory, and the red flag was that around the Champ-de-Mars, dragged into the people's blood."[5]

During his term as a politician in the Second Republic, he led efforts that culminated in the abolition of slavery and the death penalty, as well as the enshrinement of the right to work and the short-lived national workshop programs. A political idealist who supported democracy and pacifism, his moderate stance on most issues caused many of his followers to desert him. He was an unsuccessful candidate in the presidential election of 10 December 1848, receiving fewer than 19,000 votes. He subsequently retired from politics and dedicated himself to literature.

Final years and legacy

Lamartine photography croppped
Lamartine photographed in 1865

He published volumes on the most varied subjects (history, criticism, personal confidences, literary conversations) especially during the Empire, when, having retired to private life and having become the prey of his creditors, he condemned himself to what he calls "literary hard-labor in order to exist and pay his debts". Lamartine ended his life in poverty, publishing monthly installments of the Cours familier de littérature to support himself. He died in Paris in 1869.

Nobel prize winner Frédéric Mistral's fame was in part due to the praise of Alphonse de Lamartine in the fortieth edition of his periodical Cours familier de littérature, following the publication of Mistral's long poem Mirèio. Mistral is the most revered writer in modern Occitan literature.

Lamartine is considered to be the first French romantic poet (though Charles-Julien Lioult de Chênedollé was working on similar innovations at the same time), and was acknowledged by Paul Verlaine and the Symbolists as an important influence.

Other interests

Full view of Lamartine's House - Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Lamartine's House in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Alphonse de Lamartine was also an Orientalist with a particular interest in Lebanon and the Middle East. He travelled to Lebanon, Syria and the Holy Land in 1832–33. During that trip, while he was in Beirut, on 7 December 1832, he lost his only remaining child, Julia. During his trip to Lebanon he had met prince Bashir Shihab II and prince Simon Karam, who were enthusiasts of poetry. A valley in Lebanon is still called the Valley of Lamartine as a commemoration of that visit, and the Lebanon cedar forest still harbors the "Lamartine Cedar", which is said to be the cedar under which Lamartine had sat 200 years ago. Lamartine was so influenced by his trip that he staged his 1838 epic poem La Chute d'un ange (The Fall of an Angel) in Lebanon.

Raised by his mother to respect animal life, he found the eating of meat repugnant, saying 'One does not have one heart for Man and one for animals. One has a heart or one does not'. His writings in La chute d’un Ange (1838) and Les confidences (1849) would be taken up by supporters of vegetarianism in the twentieth century.

Religious belief

On the spirit of the times

Jean-Léon Gérôme-portrait of a Lady-1849
Madame de Lamartine portraited by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1849)

Thanks to the increase of general reason, to the light of philosophy, to the inspiration of Christianity, to the progress of the idea of justice, of charity, and of fraternity, in laws, manners, and religion, society in America, in Europe, and in France, especially since the Revolution, has broken down all these barriers, all these denominations of caste, all these injurious distinctions among men. Society is composed only of various conditions, professions, functions, and ways of life, among those who form what we call a Nation; of proprietors of the soil, and proprietors of houses; of investments, of handicrafts, of merchants, of manufacturers, of formers; of day-laborers becoming fanners, manufacturers, merchants, or possessors of houses or capital, in their turn; of the rich, of those in easy circumstances, of the poor, of workmen with their hands, workmen with their minds; of day-laborers, of those in need, of a small number of men enjoying considerable acquired or inherited wealth, of others of a smaller fortune painfully increased and improved, of others with property only sufficient for their needs; there are some, finally, without any personal possession but their hands, and gleaning for themselves and for their families, in the workshop, or the field, and at the threshold of the homes of others on the earth, the asylum, the wages, the bread, the instruction, the tools, the daily pay, all those means of existence which they have neither inherited, saved, nor acquired. These last are what have been improperly called the People.

  • Atheism Among the People, by Alphonse de Lamartine 1850 p. 19-20[6]

On Catholic priests

Alphonse de Lamartine as quoted in "A Priest" By Robert Nash (1943) on Catholic priests:

There is a man in every parish, having no family, but belonging to a family that is worldwide; who is called in as a witness and adviser in all the important affairs of human life. No one comes into the world or goes out of it without his ministrations. He takes the child from its mother’s arms, and parts with him only at the grave. He blesses and consecrates the cradle, the bridal chamber, the bed of death, and the bier. He is one whom innocent children instinctively venerate and reverence, and to whom men of venerable age come to seek for wisdom, and call him father; at whose feet men fall down and lay bare the innermost thoughts of their souls, and weep their most sacred tears. He is one whose mission is to console the afflicted, and soften the pains of body and soul; to whose door come alike the rich and the poor. He belongs to no social class, because he belongs equally to all. He is one, in fine, who knows all, has a right to speak unreservedly, and whose speech, inspired from on high, falls on the minds and hearts of all with the authority of one who is divinely sent, and with the constraining power of one who has an unclouded faith.[7]

On Muhammad

In his book "Histoire de la Turquie" (1854), Alphonse de Lamartine writes:

If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers, which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislation, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then-inhabited world; and more than that he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls....[8]:154 His forbearance in victory, his ambition which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire, his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death - all these attest not to an imposture, but to a firm conviction, which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was two fold: the unity of God and the immateriality of God; the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with the words. Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational beliefs, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he.[8]:155


  • Saül (1818)
  • Méditations poétiques (1820)
  • Nouvelles Méditations (1823)
  • Harmonies poétiques et religieuses (1830)
  • Sur la politique rationnelle (1831)
  • Voyage en Orient (1835)
  • Jocelyn (1836)
  • La chute d'un ange (1838)
  • Recueillements poétiques (1839)
  • Histoire des Girondins (1847)
  • Histoire de la Révolution (1849)
  • Histoire de la Russie (1849)

See also


  1. ^ a b c Jenson, Deborah (2001). Trauma and Its Representations: The Social Life of Mimesis in Post-Revolutionary France. Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 152–154.
  2. ^ Whitehouse, Henry Remsen (1918). The Life of Lamartine, Volume 1. BiblioBazaar (2009). p. 13. ISBN 978-1-115-29659-5. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  3. ^ Catholic Online. "Alphonse de Lamartine - Catholic Encyclopedia - Catholic Online". Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  4. ^ Halsted, J.B. (1969). Alphonse de Lamartine: History of the Revolution of 1848. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 271–284.
  5. ^ Alphonse de Lamartine, Trois mois au pouvoir, Paris, Michel Lévy, 1848.
  6. ^ "Atheism among the people : Lamartine, Alphonse de, 1790-1869 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  7. ^ Rev. Robert Nash. "A Priest" (PDF). Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  8. ^ a b de Lamartine, Alphonse (1855). History of Turkey, Volume 1. D. Appleton & Company.

Further reading

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Jacques-Charles Dupont de l'Eure
Chairman of the Provisional Government of the French Republic
Head of State of France
May 6 - June 28, 1848
Member of the Executive Commission along with:
François Arago
Louis-Antoine Garnier-Pagès
Alexandre Ledru-Rollin
Pierre Marie (de Saint-Georges)
Succeeded by
Louis-Eugène Cavaignac
President of the Council of Ministers
1848 French Constituent Assembly election

The 1848 general election held on 23 and 24 April 1848 elected the Constituent Assembly of the new Republic. Over 9 million voters were eligible to vote in the first French election since 1792 held under male universal suffrage.

Alfred Dufresne

Jacques Marie Alfred Dufresne (1822, Orléans – 18 March 1863, Paris) was a 19th-century French composer and playwright.

A student of Fromental Halévy at the Paris Conservatory, he is mostly known for having written music for hundreds of songs by authors such as Jules Verne, Alfred de Musset, Alphonse de Lamartine or Victor Hugo.

He also composed operettas and opéras comiques including L'hôtel de la poste on a libretto by Philippe Gille.

French Head of State

French Head of State was a transitional title for the head of the French government from August 1840 to February 1848. The title was held by Louis-Philippe of France, who was King of France. Following the establishment of the Second French Republic, this title was passed onto the President of the French Republic or also known as the Chairman of the Provisional Government of the French Republic.

A list of this title:

Louis-Philippe of France: 1830–February 1848 as Head of State and King of France

Jacques-Charles Dupont de l'Eure: February–May 1848 as chairman of the Provisional Government of the French Republic

Executive Commissioners

Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin: May–June 1848

Alphonse de Lamartine: May–June 1848

François Arago: May–June 1848

Louis-Antoine Garnier-Pagès: May–June 1848

Pierre Marie (de Saint-Georges): May–June 1848

Louis Eugène Cavaignac: June–December 1848 as president of the Council of Ministers

Napoleon III of France: December 1848 – 1870 as first formal President of the French Republic, later Emperor of the French.

Louis Jules Trochu: 1870–1871 as chairman of the Government of National Defense

Adolphe Thiers: 1871 as chairman of the Government of National DefenseThis generic title is somewhat similar to the Chief of the French State title held by Philippe Pétain from 1940 to 1944.


Graziella is an 1852 novel by the French author Alphonse de Lamartine. It tells of a young French man who falls for a fisherman's granddaughter – the eponymous Graziella – during a trip to Naples, Italy; they are separated when he must return to France, and she soon dies. Based on the author's experiences with a tobacco-leaf folder while in Naples in the early 1810s, Graziella was first written as a journal, and intended to serve as commentary for Lamartine's poem "Le Premier Regret".

First serialised as part of Les Confidences beginning in 1849, Graziella received popular acclaim. An operatic adaptation had been completed by the end of the year, and the work influenced paintings, poems, novels, and films. The American literary critic Charles Henry Conrad Wright considered it one of the three most important emotionalist French novels, the others being Bernardin de Saint-Pierre's novel Paul et Virginie (1788) and Chateaubriand's novella Atala (1801). Three English translations have been published: one by James Runnion in 1875, one by Ralph Wright in 1929, and one by Raymond N. MacKenzie in 2018.

Graziella (1926 film)

Graziella is a 1926 French silent drama film directed by Marcel Vandal and starring Suzanne Dehelly, Antonin Artaud and Raoul Chennevières. It is an adaptation of the 1852 novel Graziella by Alphonse de Lamartine.

Graziella (1954 film)

Graziella is a 1954 Italian historical melodrama film directed by Giorgio Bianchi and starring Maria Fiore and Jean-Pierre Mocky. It is the third adaptation of the 1852 novel Graziella by Alphonse de Lamartine.

Graziella (disambiguation)

Graziella is an 1852 novel by the French author Alphonse de Lamartine.

Graziella may also refer to:

Graziella (given name), a feminine given name

Graziella (1926 film), French film directed by Marcel Vandal

Graziella (1954 film), Italian film directed by Giorgio Bianchi

Graziella (2015 film), French film directed by Mehdi Charef

Jocelyn (opera)

Jocelyn (Op. 100) is a four-act opera by Benjamin Godard, set to a French libretto by Paul Armand Silvestre and the tenor Victor Capoul. Based on the poem by Alphonse de Lamartine, the action takes place in Grenoble and the surrounding mountains during Corpus Christi at the close of the 18th century. The score bears a dedication "A mon ami Daniel Barton".This opera is remembered for Godard's most enduring composition, the tender berceuse (lullaby) for tenor, "Oh! ne t'éveille pas encore" commonly known in English as Angels Guard Thee.

Jocelyn premièred on 25 February 1888 at Le Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels with Pierre-Émile Engel creating the title role. A production with a new cast, including Capoul in the title role, opened in Paris at the Théâtre-Lyrique-National on October 13 of the same year.

Lac du Bourget

Lac du Bourget (Lake Bourget), also locally known as Lac Gris (Grey Lake) or Lac d'Aix, is a lake at the southernmost end of the Jura Mountains in the department of Savoie, France. It is the deepest lake located entirely within France, and either the largest or second largest after Lac de Grand-Lieu depending on season.

The largest town on its shore is Aix-les-Bains. Chambéry, the capital of Savoie, lies about 10 km south of the lake. The lake is mainly fed by the river Leysse (and other small rivers), and it drains towards the river Rhône through the Canal de Savières, an artificial channel. It is a Ramsar site. The extinct bezoule was found only in this lake.

The lake was formed during the last period of global glaciation in the Alps (Würm glaciation) during the Pleistocene epoch. It has a surface area of 44.5 square kilometres (4,450 hectares). The long and narrow north-south axis of the lake extends 18 km in length, and ranges between 1.6 km and 3.5 km in width. The lake's average depth is 85 m, and its maximum depth in 145 m. The lake is meromictic, meaning that it has layers that do not mix.The lake is bordered by the steep summits of the Mont du Chat and the Chaîne de l'Épine on the west, and Bauges Mountains on the east, which form its shores.

Lac du Bourget was made famous by several romantic poems of Alphonse de Lamartine, including Le Lac, as well as by descriptions by Xavier de Maistre, Honoré de Balzac, and Alexandre Dumas.

Lamartine (disambiguation)

Lamartine may refer to:

Alphonse de Lamartine, a French writer and politician

Lamartine Babo, Brazilian musician

Lycée Franco-Libanais Tripoli

The Lycée Franco-Libanais de Tripoli, also known as Lycée Franco-Libanais Alphonse de Lamartine is a 15-year private school (kindergarten through 12th grade) in North Lebanon, founded in 1973 by the Mission laïque française, as an annex to the Grand Lycée Franco-Libanais in Beirut. It was initially situated in Tripoli, then moved to Ras Maska and is now in its new establishment in Kfar Kahel.

Lycée Français de Sofia

Lycée Français de Sofia Alphonse de Lamartine (LFAL, in Bulgarian: 9-та френска езикова гимназия „Алфонс дьо Ламартин“, ФЕГ) is a French language school in Sofia, established in 1961 under the name of 9th French Language School Georgi Kirkov. Since the early 1990s it has been named after the French nobleman, poet, diplomat and politician Alphonse de Lamartin (1790-1869) who visited the Bulgarian lands in 1832.

Lycée Lamartine

The Lycée Lamartine is a French institute of secondary education in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. It combines a collège, a lycée, and a Classe préparatoire aux grandes écoles (prep school for the Grandes écoles). The school is named for the 19th-century writer Alphonse de Lamartine.


Milly-Lamartine is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne in eastern France.It is the home-town of Alphonse de Lamartine, the famous French poet and writer.

Monument historique

Monument historique (French: [mɔnymɑ̃ istɔʁik]) is a designation given to some national heritage sites in France. It may also refer to the state procedure in France by which National Heritage protection is extended to a building, a specific part of a building, a collection of buildings, garden, bridge, or other structure, because of their importance to France's architectural and historical cultural heritage. Both public and privately owned structures may be listed in this way, as well as movable objects. As of 2012 there were 44,236 monuments listed.

Buildings may be given the classification for both their exteriors or interiors, including a building's décor, its furniture, a single room, or even a staircase. An example is the Monument Historique classification of the décor in the café "Deux Garçons" in Aix-en-Provence whose patrons once included Alphonse de Lamartine, Émile Zola and Paul Cézanne. Some buildings are designated because of their connection to a single personality, such as the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers-sur-Oise which is designated an MH because of its connection to the painter Vincent van Gogh. Since the 1990s, a significant number of places have been given the designation because of their historical importance to science.

The MH designation traces its roots to the French Revolution when the government appointed Alexandre Lenoir to specify and safeguard certain structures. Though the first classifications were given in the 19th century by the writer Prosper Mérimée, inspector-general of historical monuments, by a first list established in 1840. In 1851, Mérimée organized the Missions Héliographiques to document France's medieval architecture.

A "monument historique" may be marked by the official logo of the Union REMPART, a French historical restoration association. It consists of a design representing the labyrinth that used to be in Reims Cathedral, which is itself a World Heritage Site. Use of the logo is optional.

Nefise Hatun

Nefise Hatun, Nefise Sultan, Nefise Melek Hatun, or Nefise Melek Sultan Hatun (c. 1363 — c. 1400) was an Ottoman princess, the daughter of Sultan Murad I of the Ottoman Empire. She was married to Prince Alaeddin Ali of Karaman, who was a rival of the rising Ottoman Empire and became the mother of the next Karamanid ruler, Mehmed II of Karaman, who was married to Princess Incu Hatun, the daughter of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed I. Her marriage served an alliance between the Ottomans and the Karamanids.

Skull Tower

Skull Tower (Serbian: Ћеле Кула; Ćele kula, pronounced [tɕel̩e kula]) is a stone structure embedded with human skulls located in Niš, Serbia. It was constructed following the Battle of Čegar of May 1809, during the First Serbian Uprising. Serbian rebels under the command of Stevan Sinđelić were attacked by the Ottomans on Čegar Hill, near Niš. Knowing that he and his fighters would be impaled if captured, Sinđelić detonated a powder magazine within the rebel entrenchment, killing himself, his fellow rebels and the encroaching Ottoman soldiers. Vizier Hurshid Pasha ordered that a tower be made from the skulls of the fallen rebels. The tower is 4.5 metres (15 ft) high, and originally contained 952 skulls embedded on four sides in 14 rows.

Following the Ottoman withdrawal from Niš in 1878, the tower was roofed over, and in 1892 a chapel was built around it. In 1937, the chapel was renovated. A bust of Sinđelić was added the following year. In 1948, Skull Tower and the chapel enclosing it were declared Cultural Monuments of Exceptional Importance and came under the protection of the Socialist Republic of Serbia. Further renovation of the chapel occurred again in 1989. As of 2013, 58 skulls remain on the tower. The one that is said to belong to Sinđelić is enclosed in a glass container. Seen as a symbol of independence by Serbs, the tower is mentioned in the writings of French Romantic poet Alphonse de Lamartine and English travel writer Alexander William Kinglake. In the two centuries since its construction, it has become a popular tourist attraction, visited by between 30,000 and 50,000 people annually.

Treaty of Fontainebleau (1814)

The Treaty of Fontainebleau was an agreement established in Fontainebleau, France, on 11 April 1814 between Napoleon I and representatives from the Austrian Empire, Russia and Prussia. The treaty was signed at Paris on 11 April by the plenipotentiaries of both sides and ratified by Napoleon on 13 April. With this treaty, the allies ended Napoleon's rule as emperor of France and sent him into exile on Elba.

Who Is Without Sin

Who is Without Sin (Italian:Chi è senza peccato) is a 1952 Italian melodrama film by Raffaello Matarazzo and starring Yvonne Sanson, Amedeo Nazzari and Françoise Rosay. It is an adaptation of the novel Geneviève by Alphonse de Lamartine. It was part of a series of romantic melodramas that Nazzari and Sanson appeared in during the 1950s.

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