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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 671 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GEORGES MAURICE DE GUERIN DU CAYLA (18x0-1839), French poet, descended from a noble but poor family, was born at the chateau of Le Cayla in Languedoc, on the 4th of August 181o. He was educated for the church at a religious seminary at Toulouse, and then at the College Stanislas, Paris, after which he entered the society at La Chesnaye in Brittany, founded by Lamennais. It was only after great hesitation, and without being satisfied as to his religious vocation, that under the influence of Lamennais he joined the new religious order in the autumn of 1832; and when, in September of the next year, Lamennais, who had come under the displeasure of Rome, severed connexion with the society, Maurice de Guerin soon followed his example. Early in the following year he went to Paris, where he was for a short time a teacher at the College Stanislas. In November 1838 he married a Creole lady of some fortune; but a few months afterwards he was attacked by consumption and died on the 19th of July 1839. In the Revue des deux mondes for May 15th, 1840, there appeared a notice of Maurice de Guerin by George Sand, to which she added two fragments of his writings—one a composition in prose entitled the Centaur, and the other a short poem. His Reliquiae (2 vols., 1861), including the Centaur, his journal, a number of his letters and several poems, was edited by G. S. Trebutien, and accompanied with a biographical and critical notice by Sainte-Beuve; a new edition, with the title Journal, lettres et poemes, followed' in 1862; and an English translation of it was published at New ' York in 1867. Though he was essentially a poet, his prose is more striking and original than his poetry. Its peculiar and unique charm arises from his strong and absorbing passion for nature, a passion whose intensity reached almost to adoration and worship, but in which the pagan was more prominent than the moral element. According to Sainte-Beuve, "no French See the notices by George Sand and Sainte-Beuve referred to above; Sainte-Beuve, Causeries du lundi (vol. xii.) and Nouveaux Lundis (vol. iii.); G. Merlet, Causeries sur les femmes et les livres (Paris, 1865); Selden, L'Esprit des femmes de notre temps (Paris, 1864); Marelle, Eugenie et Maurice de Guerin (Berlin, 1869); Harriet Parr, M. and E. de Guerin, a monograph (London, 1870) ; and Matthew Arnold's essays on Maurice and Eugenie de Guerin, in his Essays in Criticism.
End of Article: GEORGES MAURICE DE GUERIN DU CAYLA (18x0-1839)

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