Famous 19th Century French Poets

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 1 
Charles Baudelaire
(French Poet Known for His Handling of Rhyme & Rhythm and His Book 'Les Fleurs du mal')
Charles Baudelaire
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Birthdate: April 9, 1821
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 31, 1867
French prose poet, essayist, and critic Charles Baudelaire was one of the first translators of the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Best known for his book of poems Les Fleurs du mal, he is believed to have coined the word modernity and was associated with the symbolist and decadent movements.
 2 
Victor Hugo
(French Writer of the Romantic Movement Best Known for His Novel 'Les Misérables' and Play 'Ruy Blas')
Victor Hugo
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Birthdate: February 26, 1802
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Besançon, Doubs, France
Died: May 22, 1885

Victor Hugo was a French poet, dramatist, and novelist of the Romantic movement. Regarded as one of the best-known and greatest French writers of all time, Victor Hugo wrote abundantly during his career that spanned over six decades. Thanks to his works, such as Hernani and Cromwell, Victor Hugo was one of the leading figures of the Romantic literary movement.

 3 
Jules Verne
(French Author Who Was One of the Pioneers of the Modern Science Fiction Genre)
Jules Verne
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Birthdate: February 8, 1828
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nantes, France
Died: March 24, 1905
French author Jules Verne, also known as the “Father of Science Fiction,” is best remembered for his legendary adventure novels Journey to the Center of the Earth, Around the World in Eighty Days, and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. He also became the world’s second most-translated writer since 1979.
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 4 
Arthur Rimbaud
(French Poet Known for His Works: ‘The Drunken Boat’, ‘A Season in Hell’ and ‘Illuminations’)
Arthur Rimbaud
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Birthdate: October 20, 1854
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Charleville-Mézières, France
Died: November 10, 1891

French poet Arthur Rimbaud is remembered for his influence on Dadaism, surrealism, and symbolism. Known for works such as Le Soleil Etait Encore Chaud and Voyelles, he later got involved in a relationship with poet Paul Verlaine. He also traveled as a merchant and explorer, before dying of cancer.

 5 
Paul Verlaine
(One of the Greatest French Poets of the 19th Century)
Paul Verlaine
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Birthdate: March 30, 1844
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Metz, France
Died: January 8, 1896

Paul Verlaine was a French poet best remembered for his association with the Decadent movement and the Symbolist movement. He is regarded as one of the most important representatives of the fin de siècle in French and international poetry. His poetry served as an inspiration for composers like Gabriel Fauré, who composed several mélodies based on Verlaine's poems.

 6 
Anatole France
(One of the Best-Selling French Poet and Novelist)
Anatole France
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Birthdate: April 16, 1844
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 12, 1924

Anatole France was a French poet, novelist, and journalist. Renowned for writing many best-sellers, Anatole France was one of the most respected French writers of his generation. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1921 for his brilliant literary achievements.

 7 
Stéphane Mallarmé
(French Symbolist Poet)
Stéphane Mallarmé
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Birthdate: March 18, 1842
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 9, 1898

Stéphane Mallarmé was a French poet whose work inspired many artistic schools of the 20th century like Surrealism, Futurism, Dadaism, and Cubism. Over the years, his poetry has also served as an inspiration for many musical pieces, including Claude Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun. Mallarmé's work also influenced Man Ray's film, Les Mystères du Château de Dé.

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 8 
Paul Valery
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Birthdate: October 30, 1871
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sète, France
Died: July 20, 1945

Paul Valery was a French poet, philosopher, and essayist. Thanks to his immense contribution to literature, Valery received several nominations for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature. The title of the 2013 Japanese animated historical drama film The Wind Rises was inspired by one of Paul Valery's verses. Also, his poem Palme inspired James Merrill's celebrated poem, Lost in Translation.

 9 
Robert W. Service
(Poet & Writer)
Robert W. Service
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Birthdate: January 16, 1874
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Preston, Lancashire, England
Died: September 11, 1958

Robert W. Service was a British-Canadian poet and writer. Popularly called "the Bard of the Yukon," he wrote some of the most commercially successful poetry of his era. A bank clerk by profession, he often wrote while traveling for work. Besides poetry, he also wrote fiction and non-fiction. He was often compared to English writer and novelist Rudyard Kipling. 

 10 
Charles Maurras
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Birthdate: April 20, 1868
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Martigues, France
Died: November 16, 1952
 11 
Eliphas Levi
(French Ceremonial Magician, Occultist and Author of 19th Century Book 'Transcendental Magic')
Eliphas Levi
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Birthdate: February 8, 1810
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 31, 1875
Alphonse Louis Constant, better known by his pseudonym, Eliphas Levi, had abandoned his wish to become a Catholic priest to become a famed magician, occultist, and author of the 19th century. He is best remembered for his iconic work Transcendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual and his theory of magic. 
 12 
Théophile Gautier
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Birthdate: August 30, 1811
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tarbes, France
Died: October 23, 1872
 13 
Adah Isaacs Menken
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Birthdate: June 15, 1835
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: August 10, 1868
 14 
Alfred de Musset
(French Writer Best Known for His Autobiographical Novel ‘The Confession of a Child of the Century’)
Alfred de Musset
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Birthdate: December 11, 1810
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 2, 1857

French playwright and author Alfred de Musset is best remembered for his autobiographical The Confession of a Child of the Century. Though he was supposedly part of the Romantic movement, many of his works satirized the movement. He stopped allowing his plays to be staged after The Venetian Night flopped.

 15 
Nicholas I of Montenegro
(ruler of Montenegro from 1860 to 1918)
Nicholas I of Montenegro
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Birthdate: October 7, 1841
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Njeguši, Montenegro
Died: March 1, 1921
 16 
Francis Picabia
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Birthdate: January 22, 1879
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 30, 1953
 17 
Louis Aragon
(Former surrealist writer, co-founded with André Breton and Philippe Soupault the surrealist review Littérature)
Louis Aragon
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Birthdate: October 3, 1897
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 24, 1982
 18 
Alfred Jarry
(Playwright, Writer, Poet, Novelist)
Alfred Jarry
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Birthdate: September 8, 1873
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Laval
Died: November 1, 1907
 19 
Edmond Rostand
(Former poet and dramatist associated with neo-romanticism, became best-known for his 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac)
Edmond Rostand
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Birthdate: April 1, 1868
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Marseille, France
Died: December 2, 1918
 20 
Max Jacob
(Poet)
Max Jacob
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Birthdate: July 12, 1876
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Quimper, France
Died: March 5, 1944
 21 
Paul Claudel
(Playwright, Poet, Diplomat, Writer, Diarist, Poet lawyer, Translator)
Paul Claudel
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Birthdate: August 6, 1868
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Villeneuve-sur-Fère
Died: February 23, 1955

Born into a family of farmers, Paul Claudel grew up to join the foreign service of France, thus serving in places such as the US, China, and South America. While he traveled the world as a French ambassador to French ambassador, he also enriched French literature with his poems, essays, and plays.

Comte de Lautréamont
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Birthdate: April 4, 1846
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Montevideo, Uruguay
Died: November 24, 1870
Robert de Montesquiou
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Birthdate: March 7, 1855
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 11, 1921
 24 
Gérard de Nerval
(Best known for his novellas and poems, especially the collection Les Filles du feu (The Daughters of Fire))
Gérard de Nerval
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Birthdate: May 25, 1808
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 26, 1855
 25 
Charles Péguy
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Birthdate: January 7, 1873
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Orléans, France
Died: September 5, 1914
 26 
Jean-Henri Fabre
(Entomologist)
Jean-Henri Fabre
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Birthdate: December 21, 1823
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint-Leons, France
Died: October 11, 1915
 27 
Sully Prudhomme
(Poet, Essayist, and was the first winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901)
Sully Prudhomme
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Birthdate: March 16, 1839
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 6, 1907
 28 
Émile Bernard
(Post-Impressionist painter, Writer)
Émile Bernard
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Birthdate: April 28, 1868
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lille, France
Died: April 16, 1941
 29 
Alfred de Vigny
(French Poet and Early French Romanticist)
Alfred de Vigny
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Birthdate: March 27, 1797
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Loches, France
Died: September 17, 1863

Alfred de Vigny was a French poet whose poem La Maison du berger is regarded by some as the greatest 19th-century French poem. One of the leaders of French Romanticism, Vigny also wrote philosophical novels. Also regarded as a thinker, Alfred de Vigny was one of the first French poets to develop a serious interest in Buddhism.

 30 
Pierre Louÿs
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Birthdate: December 10, 1870
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ghent, Belgium
Died: June 6, 1925
Stanislas de Guaita
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Birthdate: April 6, 1861
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Moselle, France
Died: December 19, 1897
 32 
Frédéric Mistral
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Birthdate: September 8, 1830
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Provence, France
Died: March 25, 1914
 33 
Raymond Roussel
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Birthdate: January 20, 1877
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: July 14, 1933
 34 
Alain-Fournier
(Best remembered for his classic 1913 novel Le Grand Meaulnes)
Alain-Fournier
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Birthdate: October 3, 1886
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: La Chapelle-d'Angillon, France
Died: September 22, 1914
 35 
Vernon Lee
(Writer)
Vernon Lee
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Birthdate: October 14, 1856
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
Died: February 13, 1935

British author Violet Page wrote under the pseudonym Vernon Lee and dressed without inhibitions. Rumors claimed she was a lesbian, though she never stated so. The poet and critic is best remembered for her work on aesthetics, Belcaro. She was also a skilled harpsichord player and a true-blue feminist.

 36 
Léon Bloy
(Novelist)
Léon Bloy
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Birthdate: July 11, 1846
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Notre-Dame-de-Sanilhac, Sanilhac, France
Died: November 3, 1917
 37 
Arthur Cravan
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Birthdate: May 22, 1887
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lausanne, Switzerland
Died: October 31, 1918
Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam
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Birthdate: November 7, 1838
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Saint-Brieuc, France
Died: August 19, 1889

Part of the symbolist movement, French author Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam is best remembered for his drama Axël and his short story collection Cruel Tales. His works often dealt with themes of horror and sadism. He spent all his life in poverty and married his mistress on his deathbed.

 39 
Philippe Henriot
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Birthdate: January 7, 1889
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Reims, France
Died: June 28, 1944
 40 
Louise-Rose-Etiennette Gerard
(Poet and Playwright.)
Louise-Rose-Etiennette Gerard
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Birthdate: April 5, 1871
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 5, 1953
 41 
Anna de Noailles
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Birthdate: November 15, 1876
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 30, 1933
 42 
Jules Romains
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Birthdate: August 26, 1885
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint-Julien-Chapteuil, France
Died: August 14, 1972
 43 
Louis Feuillade
(Director)
Louis Feuillade
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Birthdate: February 19, 1873
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lunel, France
Died: February 25, 1925
 44 
Jules Laforgue
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Birthdate: August 16, 1860
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Montevideo, Uruguay
Died: August 20, 1887
Jules Laforgue was a Franco-Uruguayan poet whose poetry has been referred to as part-symbolist, part-impressionist. Apart from being a poet, Jules Laforgue also served as a model for a French artist named Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
 45 
Zygmunt Krasiński
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Birthdate: February 19, 1812
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 23, 1859
Pierre-Jean de Béranger
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Birthdate: August 19, 1780
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: July 16, 1857
 47 
Placide Cappeau
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Birthdate: October 25, 1808
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Roquemaure, France
Died: August 8, 1877
 48 
Alphonse Allais
(Writer, Poet, Journalist, Screenwriter, Painter, Science fiction writer, Composer, Comedian)
Alphonse Allais
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Birthdate: October 20, 1854
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Honfleur
Died: October 28, 1905

French writer Alphonse Allais, also a journalist and humorist, wrote many collections of whimsical writings. He is known for writing the earliest example of a completely silent musical composition. The small house where he was born was later turned into a museum named Alphonse Allais Museum. The Académie Alphonse-Allais has been awarding an annual prize in his honor since 1954.

 49 
Francis Ponge
(Essayist)
Francis Ponge
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Birthdate: March 27, 1899
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Montpellier, France
Died: August 6, 1988
 50 
Pierre Reverdy
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Birthdate: September 13, 1889
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Narbonne, France
Died: June 17, 1960