Famous French Non-Fiction Writers

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 1 
Thomas Piketty
(French Economist Best Known for His Work 'Capital in the Twenty-First Century')
Thomas Piketty
4
Birthdate: May 7, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Clichy, France

French economist and professor Thomas Piketty is best known for his book Capital in the Twenty-first Century, which became a New York Times bestseller. He has taught at prestigious institutes such as LSE and MIT. He proposed taxing the rich to prevent high incomes and not merely to increase government revenue.

 2 
Bernard-Henri Lévy
(French Intellectual and Leader of the 'New Philosophers' Movement)
Bernard-Henri Lévy
3
Birthdate: November 5, 1948
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Béni Saf, Algeria

Bernard-Henri Lévy is a French intellectual best known as one of the leaders of the New Philosophers movement in 1976. Over the years, Lévy's political activism, publications, and opinions have been the subject of controversies. Bernard-Henri Lévy's works have also been translated into numerous languages including English.

 3 
Alexander Berkman
3
Birthdate: November 21, 1870
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vilnius
Died: June 28, 1936

Alexander Berkman was a Russian-American anarchist and author. He was famous for both his political activism and his writing and was a leading member of the anarchist movement in the early 20th century. He served as the editor of fellow anarchist Emma Goldman's anarchist journal, Mother Earth. He suffered from ill-health in his later years and died by suicide. 

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 4 
Eliphas Levi
(French Ceremonial Magician, Occultist and Author of 19th Century Book 'Transcendental Magic')
Eliphas Levi
3
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. 
 5 
Paul Langevin
(Physicist, Professor, Chemist, Philosopher of science, Educationist, Non-fiction writer)
Paul Langevin
3
Birthdate: January 23, 1872
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris
Died: December 19, 1946

Best known for developing the Langevin dynamics and the Langevin equation, physicist Paul Langevin was also a staunch Communist. Having worked on his doctoral thesis under Pierre Curie, he had formed a connection with Curie’s wife, Marie Curie, which developed into a full-blown love affair after Pierre’s death.

 6 
Ernest Renan
(Known as the Author of the Enormously Popular Life of Jesus)
Ernest Renan
3
Birthdate: February 28, 1823
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tréguier, France
Died: October 2, 1892

Ernest Renan was a French Semitic and Orientalist scholar. A multi-talented personality, Renan was also an expert of Semitic civilizations and languages, philologist, philosopher, historian of religion, critic, and biblical scholar. Ernest Renan is credited with writing pioneering and influential works on the origins of Christianity. Ernest Renan is also credited with writing the extremely popular book, Life of Jesus.

 7 
Amin Maalouf
(Lebanese-Born French Author and Journalist)
Amin Maalouf
3
Birthdate: February 25, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

One of the greatest authors and journalists born in Lebanon, Amin Maalouf initially reported major political events around the world. He is known for his internationally bestselling French books, such as Samarkand and Balthasar's Odyssey. His novels usually have a historical setting, with war and migration as prominent themes.

 8 
Francois de La Rochefoucauld
(French Moralist of the Era of French Classical Literature and Author of 'Maximes' and 'Memoirs')
Francois de La Rochefoucauld
3
Birthdate: September 15, 1613
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rue des Petits-Champs, Paris, France
Died: March 17, 1680

French classical author Francois de La Rochefoucauld is best known for his use of the maxime, a French epigram. He had initially been part of the army that fought against the Spanish. He later grew up to be the quintessential 17th-century nobleman. His Mémoires and Maximes are his most-talked-about works.

 9 
Alexandra David-Néel
(Belgian–French Explorer, Anarchist, Spiritualist, and Writer)
Alexandra David-Néel
3
Birthdate: October 24, 1868
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Saint-Mandé, France
Died: September 8, 1969

Alexandra David-Néel was a Belgian–French explorer, anarchist, spiritualist, Buddhist, writer, and opera singer. She is best remembered for traveling to important spiritual centers, including Lhasa, Tibet in 1924, when foreigners were forbidden from entering Lhasa. Alexandra David-Néel wrote more than 30 books and her teachings influenced people like Allen Ginsberg, Benjamin Crème, Jack Kerouac, Ram Dass, and Alan Watts.   

 10 
Édouard Louis
3
Birthdate: October 30, 1992
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Picardie, France

Édouard Louis is a French writer whose literary work is often inspired by the hardships that he faced during his childhood. His autobiographical novel En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule, which became the subject of extensive media attention, was praised for its compelling story. The novel earned him the 2014 Pierre Guénin Prize.

 11 
François Fénelon
(Catholic Archbishop and the Author of 'The Adventures of Telemachus')
François Fénelon
2
Birthdate: August 6, 1651
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sainte-Mondane, France
Died: January 7, 1715

François Fénelon was a French writer, poet, theologian, and Catholic archbishop. He is best remembered for his book The Adventures of Telemachus, which was published in 1699. François Fénelon also served as a tutor of Louis, Duke of Burgundy, guiding the character formation of Louis, Grand Dauphin's eldest son.

 12 
Fulcanelli
(Writer)
Fulcanelli
2
Birthplace: Not known

Fulcanelli was a French esoteric author and alchemist whose life, which remains shrouded in mystery, was popularized by the 1960 book The Morning of the Magicians. It is generally believed that Fulcanelli succeeded in turning lead into gold, a knowledge which was passed down to his only pupil Eugène Canseliet. Fulcanelli also wrote and published two books in the 1920s.

 13 
Emmanuel Carrère
2
Birthdate: December 9, 1957
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France

Emmanuel Carrère is a French author, film director, and screenwriter. Regarded as one of the most gifted French writers of his generation, Carrère has been honored with several awards like the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature. Apart from contributing to the film industry as a director and screenwriter, Carrère has also written books that have been adapted into films.

 14 
Pierre Nora
(French Historian Known for His Work on French Identity and Memory)
Pierre Nora
3
Birthdate: November 17, 1931
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France

Known for his work on French identity and memory, French historian Pierre Nora began his career in Algeria, publishing his first book, The French of Algeria, based on his experience there. Later, he became the director of studies at the École des hautes études en sciences socials. Concurrently, he had a noteworthy career in publishing and also authored numerous books

 15 
Louis Bachelier
(Mathematician, Economist, Non-fiction writer)
Louis Bachelier
2
Birthdate: March 11, 1870
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Le Havre
Died: April 26, 1946

French mathematician Louis Bachelier was said to be the first to chart a mathematical model for what is now called the Brownian motion. After losing his wine merchant father early in life, he took over the reins of his family business, but he gradually became a pioneer in mathematical finance.

 16 
Alain Soral
(French Essayist and Non-fiction Writer Known for Holocaust Denial)
Alain Soral
2
Birthdate: October 2, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Aix-les-Bains, France

Apart from being an essayist and a filmmaker, Alain Soral is also a far-right extremist, who has been in trouble for his antisemitic tendencies. Once imprisoned for racism and Holocaust denial, he also established his own political organization, Égalité & Réconciliation, with the help of far-right students’ unions.

 17 
Pierre Lescure
(Journalist)
Pierre Lescure
2
Birthdate: July 2, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France

Best known for his French TV show Les Enfants du rock, Pierre Lescure had also served the Cannes Film Festival as its president. Born into a family of publishing pioneers, he had naturally grown up to be a journalist. He has also been the president of the premium French channel Canal +.

 18 
Guy Gilbert
(Priest)
Guy Gilbert
2
Birthdate: September 12, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rochefort, France

French Roman Catholic priest Guy Gilbert was trained in Algeria and later began his spiritual career working with juvenile delinquents in France. He has mentored Belgian prince Laurent and has also worked for Radio Notre-Dame and La Croix. The Légion d’Honneur winner has also penned several books.

 19 
Dominique Lapierre
2
Birthdate: July 30, 1931
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Châtelaillon-Plage, France

Renowned French author Dominique Lapierre is best known for his bestselling work City of Joy, which depicted life in the slums of Calcutta. His other bestseller Is Paris Burning?, like City of Joy, was also a collaborative effort with Larry Collins. He was also awarded the Padma Bhushan by the government of India.

 20 
Andrea King
(Actress)
Andrea King
2
Birthdate: February 1, 1919
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 22, 2003

Andrea King was an American actress best remembered for her work in theatre, TV, and films. Renowned for her good looks, King was named the most photogenic actress by Warner Bros. in 1945. In 1960, Andrea King was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to the American TV industry.

 21 
Pierre Hadot
(Philosopher)
Pierre Hadot
2
Birthdate: February 21, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Reims, France
Died: April 24, 2010

Pierre Hadot was a French historian of philosophy and philosopher who specialized in ancient philosophy. Hadot is credited with introducing Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein's thoughts to France. He also published commentaries on and translations of Porphyry of Tyre, Plotinus, St. Ambrose, and Marcus Aurelius.

 22 
Antoine Destutt de Tracy
2
Birthdate: July 20, 1754
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 9, 1836
 23 
Ambroise Vollard
(Art Dealer)
Ambroise Vollard
2
Birthdate: July 3, 1866
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint-Denis, Réunion
Died: July 22, 1939
 24 
Pal Benko
(Chess player, Chess composer)
Pal Benko
0
Birthdate: July 15, 1928
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Amiens, France
Died: August 25, 2019
 25 
Anne Pingeot
(Art Historian)
Anne Pingeot
2
Birthdate: May 13, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Clermont-Ferrand, France

Anne Pingeot is a French art historian who specializes in 19th-century French sculpture. Pingeot, who is credited with writing several catalogs and books on French sculpture, served as the curator of the department of sculpture in popular museums like the Musée d'Orsay and the Louvre. Anne Pingeot was also the mistress of former President of France, François Mitterrand.

 26 
Rene Belbenoit
2
Birthdate: April 4, 1899
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 25, 1959

Rene Belbenoit was a French prisoner and writer best remembered for his memoir Dry Guillotine which was published in 1938 in the USA. Belbenoit was imprisoned in the penal colony of Cayenne in France before his escape to the USA where he published a couple of books and worked as a technical advisor for the 1944 movie Passage to Marseille.

 27 
Edouard Drumont
(Journalist)
Edouard Drumont
2
Birthdate: May 3, 1844
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 5, 1917
 28 
Jacques Mallet du Pan
2
Birthdate: November 5, 1749
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Céligny, Switzerland
Died: May 10, 1800
 29 
Vincent Of Beauvais
2
Birthdate: 1184 AD
Birthplace: Boran-sur-Oise, France
Died: 1264 AD
 30 
Charles Nodier
(French Author and Librarian Who Introduced a Younger Generation of Romanticists)
Charles Nodier
2
Birthdate: April 29, 1780
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Besançon, France
Died: January 27, 1844

French author Charles Nodier inspired the Romantic writers of his time with his focus on gothic themes. As the director of the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, he led a group of young writers such as Victor Hugo and Alfred de Musset. His works include The Vampire Lord Ruthwen and The Book Collector.

Antoine Court de Gébelin
2
Birthdate: 1719 AD
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 10, 1784
 32 
Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly
(French Novelist and Short Story Writer)
Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly
2
Birthdate: November 2, 1808
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte, Normandy, France
Died: April 23, 1889

Known for his masterpieces such as Le Chevalier des Touches and Les Diaboliques, French author Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly was also famous for his outrageous dress sense in spite of his poverty. He specialized in writing dark mystery tales. He had also been a critic at Le Constitutionnel.

Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber
2
Birthdate: February 13, 1924
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 7, 2006
 34 
Jean Nicot
(Diplomat and scholar)
Jean Nicot
2
Birthdate: 1530 AD
Birthplace: Nîmes, France
Died: May 4, 1604
 35 
Amédée Ozenfant
2
Birthdate: April 15, 1886
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint-Quentin, France
Died: May 4, 1966
 36 
Jules Guesde
(Journalist)
Jules Guesde
1
Birthdate: November 11, 1845
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: July 28, 1922
 37 
Henri Laborit
(French Surgeon and Neurobiologist Best Remembered for His Role in the Development of Chlorpromazine)
Henri Laborit
2
Birthdate: November 21, 1914
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hanoi, Vietnam
Died: May 18, 1995

Henri Laborit was a French surgeon, writer, neurobiologist, and philosopher. He is best remembered for his role in the development of chlorpromazine, which is used to treat psychotic disorders. In 1957, Henri Laborit was honored with the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award.

 38 
Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples
(Humanist and theologian)
Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples
1
Birthdate: 1455 AD
Birthplace: Etaples, France
Died: February 29, 1536
 39 
Agrippa d'Aubigné
1
Birthdate: February 8, 1552
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pons, France
Died: April 29, 1630
 40 
Geoffrey of Villehardouin
1
Birthdate: 1150 AD
Birthplace: Aube, France
Died: 1218 AD

Geoffrey of Villehardouin was a knight and historian. He participated in and chronicled the Fourth Crusade and is considered one of the most important historians of his era. He wrote the eyewitness account De la Conquête de Constantinople (On the Conquest of Constantinople) about the battle for Constantinople that took place in 1204. He died around 1218.  

 41 
Léon Daudet
(Journalist)
Léon Daudet
1
Birthdate: November 16, 1867
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: June 30, 1942
 42 
Thoinot Arbeau
1
Birthdate: March 17, 1520
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dijon, France
Died: July 23, 1595
 43 
Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin
1
Birthdate: January 18, 1743
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Amboise, France
Died: October 14, 1803
Louis-Marie Stanislas Fréron
1
Birthdate: August 17, 1754
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: July 15, 1802
 45 
Christian de la Mazière
1
Birthdate: August 22, 1922
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tunis, Tunisia
Died: February 15, 2006
Charles du Fresne, sieur du Cange
2
Birthdate: December 18, 1610
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Amiens, France
Died: October 23, 1688

Charles du Fresne, sieur du Cange was a French historian, linguist, and philologist. He received training to be a lawyer and was admitted to the Paris bar in 1631. Following a successful legal career, he assumed the office of treasurer of France. He knew many languages and was also a distinguished historian of the Middle Ages and Byzantium. 

 47 
Pierre Franey
1
Birthdate: January 13, 1921
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Saint-Vinnemer, France
Died: October 15, 1996
 48 
Maine de Biran
(Philosopher)
Maine de Biran
1
Birthdate: November 29, 1766
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bergerac, France
Died: July 20, 1824
 49 
Jacques-François Blondel
1
Birthdate: January 8, 1705
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rouen, France
Died: January 9, 1774

Jacques-François Blondel was a French teacher and architect who served as a professor at the Académie Royale d'Architecture after running his own school of architecture for several years. Jacques-François Blondel is credited with teaching many future architects like Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart, Étienne-Louis Boullée, Jean-François-Thérèse Chalgrin, and Louis Jean Desprez. In 1755, he was made an inductee of the Académie Royale d'Architecture.

 50 
Claude Autant-Lara
(Film Director)
Claude Autant-Lara
1
Birthdate: August 5, 1901
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Luzarches, France
Died: February 5, 2000