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SMILE DESCHAMPS (1791-1871)

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Originally appearing in Volume V08, Page 90 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SMILE DESCHAMPS (1791-1871), French poet and man of letters, was born at Bourges on the 20th of February 1.791. The son of a civil servant, he adopted his father's career, but as early as 1812 he distinguished himself by an ode, La Paix conquise, which won the praise of Napoleon. In 1818 he collaborated with Henri de Latouche in two verse comedies, Selmours de Florian and Le Tour de faveur. He and his brother were among the most enthusiastic disciples of the cenacle gathered round Victor Hugo, and in July 1823 Emile founded with- his master the Muse Irancaise, which during the year of its existence was the specialorgan of the romantic party. His Etudes francaises et l trangilres (1828) were preceded by a preface which may be regarded as one of the manifestos of the romanticists. The versions of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (1839) and of Macbeth (1844), important as they were in the history of the romantic movement, were never staged. He was the author of several libretti, among which may be mentioned the Romeo e! Juliette of Berlioz. The list of his more important works is completed by his two volumes of stories, Contes physiologiques (1854) and Realites fantastiques (1854). He died at Versailles in April 1871. His CEuvres completes were published in 1872-1874 (6 vols.). His brother, Antoine Francois Marie, known as ANTONY DESCHAMPS, was born in Paris on the 12th of March 1800 and died at Passy on the 29th of October 1869. Like his brother, he was an ardent romanticist, but his production was limited by a nervous disorder, which has left its mark on his melancholy work. He translated the Divina Commedia in 1829, and his poems, Dernieres Paroles and Resignation, were republished with his brother's, in 1841.
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