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Francois Rene de Chateaubriand
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Author
    (September 4, 1768-July 4, 1848)
    Born in Saint-Malo, France
    Author and diplomat
    Appointed minister to Valais, Switzerland (1801), Sweden (1815), Prussia (1821), Great Britain (1822) and the Vatican (1828)
    Served as Minister of Foreign Affairs (1822-24)
    Wrote the novellas 'Atala' (1801), 'Rene' (1802) and 'Adventures of the Last Abencerrage' (1826)
    Wrote the non-fiction works 'The Genius of Christianity' (1802), 'Itenerary from Paris to Jerusalem' (1811), 'Bonaparte and the Bourbons' (1814) and 'Memoirs from Beyond the Grave' (published posthumously, 1848-50)
    Modern scholars suspect he lied about living with Indians during his sojourn in North America (1791-92).
    He repeatedly cheated on his wife.
    He was politically inconsistent, switching from Napoleon to the Bourbons, and from conservative to liberal factions.
    In his old age, Talleyrand joked about his vanity, 'Chateaubriand thinks himself deaf because he no longer hears himself talked of.'
    Despite a full and varied life, he is mainly remembered as the namesake for steak Chateaubriand.
    He was wounded in battle during the French Revolution.
    He was exiled from Paris after comparing Napoleon to Nero.
    He said of his politics, 'I am a Bourbonist out of honour, a monarchist out of reason, and a republican out of taste and temperament.'
    He was considered the founder of the Romantic movement in French literature.
    A young Victor Hugo declared, 'I will be Chateaubriand or nothing.' (1817)

Credit: C. Fishel


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