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A Brief Marie André de Chenier Bio

by PoetrySoup
Chenier (Marie André de), French poet, b. Constantinople, 29 Oct. 1762. His mother, a Greek, inspired him with a love for ancient Greek literature. Sent to college at Paris, he soon manifested his genius by writing eclogues and elegies of antique simplicity and sensibility. In 1787 he came to England as Secretary of Legation. He took part in the legal defence of Louis XVI., eulogised Charlotte Corday, and gave further offence by some letters in the Journal de Paris. He was committed to prison, and here met his ideal in the Comtesse de Coigny. Confined in the same prison, to her he addressed the touching verses, The Young Captive (La jeune Captive). He was executed 25 July, 1794, leaving behind, among other poems, an imitation of Lucretius, entitled Hermes, which warrants the affirmation of de Chênedolle, that “André Chénier était athée avec délices.”

Book: Reflection on the Important Things