Maurice de Guerin (August 04, 1810 - July 19, 1839)
Born: 4th August, 1810
Died: 19th July, 1839
Nationality: French poet
Region: France
Notable works: Romanticism

Maurice de Guerin Facts

Biography

Maurice de Guerin, in full Georges-Maurice de Guerin, (born August 4/5, 1810, Chateau du Cayla, near Andillac, France--died July 19?, 1839, Chateau du Cayla), French Romantic poet who achieved cultish admiration after his death.

Reared in a strictly Roman Catholic, Royalist family by his possessive sister, Eugenie, Guerin prepared for a clerical career at the College Stanislas in Paris. There he met the young novelist and critic Barbey d'Aurevilly, who became his lifelong friend.

By 1831 Guerin had decided against a religious life, and he soon went to Brittany to live in a radical community led by the brilliant Roman Catholic rebel Abbe Felicite-Robert de Lamennais. In his journal Le Cahier vert (1861; "The Green Notebook"), Guerin recorded some of the studies and discussions there, which were major influences in his life. Within a year Lamennais was condemned by the Pope, the community dissolved, and Guerin moved into the social life of Paris, where he wrote his two major prose poems, La Bacchante and Le Centaure. Both works are remarkable for the richness and depth of their pantheistic descriptions of nature. In 1837 he fell ill and returned to his native Cayla, where he recovered sufficiently to marry a rich young woman, Caroline Gervain; but he soon died of tuberculosis.

Recognition came to Guerin in 1840, when some of his works were published posthumously through the efforts of his sister and friends. Later, in 1861, a collection of works, Reliquiae (2 vol.), appeared. A Guerin cult arose, causing the publication of every scrap of writing by Maurice and Eugenie, including their most intimate correspondence. The Journal et lettres (1862) of Eugenie de Guerin (1805-1848) show that she possessed gifts as rare as her brother's, but her mysticism had assumed a more strictly religious form.

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