Having won the most number of ‘Nobel’ prizes in literature, France has produced some of the greatest literary minds. Starting from the ‘Golden Age’ of French literature, in the 19th century, French writers have always been dominant in the pool of intellectuals in Europe and their literature is characterized by patriotic fervor and great love for the language. They have produced some of the finest works, often giving birth to new trends in European literature, which have been translated worldwide and made available to us. These eminent writers give importance to perfection of the language, as their works exude an unmistakable love for their native tongue. French literature has been influenced by the revolutionary changes that took place in politics, science, art, religion and philosophy. Famous writers like Alexandre Dumas, Gustave Flaubert and Jean-Paul Sartre have imbibed these influences in their creations. They have made their mark and held their ground amidst all the transformation that literature has undergone. We have here, a collection of biographies of some of the most famous French writers. Read on to find all about their life stories, timelines and also some interesting facts & trivia related to their lives.

Albert CamusAlbert Camus
07 November 1913
Alexandre DumasAlexandre Dumas
24 July 1802

Jean-Jacques RousseauJean-Jacques Rousseau
28 June 1712
Philosopher, Writer, & Composer

21 November 1694

Victor HugoVictor Hugo
26 February 1802
Author & Poet

Jules VerneJules Verne
08 February 1828
Marquis de SadeMarquis de Sade
02 June 1740
Erotic Novelist

Simone de BeauvoirSimone de Beauvoir
09 January 1908

Marcel ProustMarcel Proust
10 July 1871
French novelist
Jacques DerridaJacques Derrida
15 July 1930

Charles BaudelaireCharles Baudelaire
09 April 1821
28 January 1873

Arthur RimbaudArthur Rimbaud
20 October 1854

George SandGeorge Sand
01 July 1804

Jean-Paul MaratJean-Paul Marat
24 May 1743

Honoré de BalzacHonoré de Balzac
20 May 1799
French Novelist and Playwright
Guy de MaupassantGuy de Maupassant
05 August 1850
Novelist & Short Story Writer

Thomas MertonThomas Merton
31 January 1915

Samuel BenchetritSamuel Benchetrit
26 June 1973

Jean CocteauJean Cocteau
05 July 1889
Novelist, Poet, Artist & Filmmaker
Milan KunderaMilan Kundera
01 April 1929

Denis DiderotDenis Diderot
05 October 1713
Cyrano de BergeracCyrano de Bergerac
06 March 1619
Dramatist and Playwright

Gustave FlaubertGustave Flaubert
12 December 1821
Novelist, Writer

Romain GaryRomain Gary
21 May 1914
Henri BergsonHenri Bergson
18 October 1859
Philosopher and Writer

Marjane Satrapi Marjane Satrapi
22 November 1969
Graphic Novelist
Charles PerraultCharles Perrault
12 January 1628

Georges BatailleGeorges Bataille
10 September 1897

Antonin ArtaudAntonin Artaud
04 September 1896
Dramatist, Poet, Essayist, Actor, & Theatre
Jean GenetJean Genet
19 December 1910

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Paul VerlainePaul Verlaine
30 March 1844
François RabelaisFrançois Rabelais
04 February 1494

René GirardRené Girard
25 December 1923

23 January 1783

Olympe de GougesOlympe de Gouges
07 May 1748
R. D. LaingR. D. Laing
07 October 1927
Anatole FranceAnatole France
16 April 1844

Hilaire BellocHilaire Belloc
27 July 1870

Christine de PizanChristine de Pizan
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Poet & Author

Alexander BerkmanAlexander Berkman
21 November 1870
Robert W. ServiceRobert W. Service
16 January 1874
Poet & Writer

Stéphane MallarméStéphane Mallarmé
18 March 1842

Alphonse de LamartineAlphonse de Lamartine
21 October 1790

Jean Patrick ModianoPatrick Modiano
30 July 1945
French Novelist

Alphonse DaudetAlphonse Daudet
13 May 1840
Novelist, Short story writer, playwright, poet
Alfred de MussetAlfred de Musset
11 December 1810
Dramatist, Poet, Novelist

Alfred de VignyAlfred de Vigny
27 March 1797
Poet, Playwright, Novelist
15 January 1622
Playwright, Actor and Stage Manager

Emile ZolaEmile Zola
02 April 1840
French novelist

Andre BretonAndre Breton
19 February 1896
Founder of Surrealism
Oscar MiloszOscar Milosz
28 May 1877

Andre MalrauxAndre Malraux
03 November 1901
French Novelist
Élisée ReclusElisee Reclus
15 March 1830
Geographer, Anarchist, Writer

Antoine de Saint-ExuperyAntoine de Saint-Exupery
29 June 1900
French writer

Andre GideAndre Gide
22 November 1869

Paul ValeryPaul Valery
30 October 1871

Alejandro JodorowskyAlejandro Jodorowsky
17 February 1929
Writer, Film director, Actor, Playwright,
Robert ClaryRobert Clary
01 March 1926

Frantz FanonFrantz Fanon
20 July 1925

François TruffautFrançois Truffaut
06 February 1932
Film director, Screenwriter, Film actor, Film

Pierre BourdieuPierre Bourdieu
01 August 1930
Philosopher, Sociologist, Anthropologist,
Gilles DeleuzeGilles Deleuze
18 January 1925
Philosopher, Historian, Writer, University

Anna KarinaAnna Karina
22 September 1940
Actor, Singer, Film director, Novelist,
Eduard LimonovEduard Limonov
22 February 1943
Writer, Dissident, Politician, Poet, Human rights

René GoscinnyRené Goscinny
14 August 1926
Editor, Film director, Comics writer, Film

Dora MaarDora Maar
22 November 1907
Photographer, Artist, Painter, Poet,
George SteinerGeorge Steiner
23 April 1929
Philosopher, Novelist, Writer, University teacher,

Jean GiraudJean Giraud
08 May 1938
Caricaturist, Comics writer, Screenwriter, Science
Michel HouellebecqMichel Houellebecq
26 February 1956
Poet, Film director, Songwriter, Essayist,

Savitri DeviSavitri Devi
30 September 1905
Writer, Poet

Joël RobuchonJoël Robuchon
07 April 1945
Auguste EscoffierAuguste Escoffier
28 October 1846

Benoit MandelbrotBenoit Mandelbrot
20 November 1924
Mathematician, Economist, Professor, Scientist,
Jacques EllulJacques Ellul
06 January 1912
Theologian, Philosopher, Writer, Sociologist,

Peter AbelardPeter Abelard
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Jean-Dominique BaubyJean-Dominique Bauby
23 April 1952
Journalist, Autobiographer, Writer

Vilfredo ParetoVilfredo Pareto
15 July 1848
Economist, Writer, Philosopher, Sociologist,
Guillaume ApollinaireGuillaume Apollinaire
25 August 1880
Marguerite DurasMarguerite Duras
04 April 1914
Writer, Film director, Screenwriter, Publisher,

Louis-Ferdinand CélineLouis-Ferdinand Céline
27 May 1894
French novelist

Henrik, Prince Consort of DenmarkHenrik, Prince Consort of Denmark
11 June 1934
Poet, Writer, Visual artist, Pianist

Gaston LerouxGaston Leroux
06 May 1868
Journalist, Writer, Novelist, Screenwriter
Alain BadiouAlain Badiou
17 January 1937
Philosopher, Novelist, Playwright, Editor,

Bruno LatourBruno Latour
22 June 1947
Philosopher, Anthropologist, Sociologist,

Guy DebordGuy Debord
28 December 1931
Film maker, Artist, Philosopher, Film director,

Mylène FarmerMylène Farmer
12 September 1961
Singer-songwriter, Writer, Singer, Actor,

René GuénonRené Guénon
15 November 1886
Julia KristevaJulia Kristeva
24 June 1941
Philosopher, Writer, Feminist

Marc BlochMarc Bloch
06 July 1886
Historian, Medievalist, University teacher, Writer
Betsy DrakeBetsy Drake
11 September 1923
Actor, Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter, Stage

Olivier AssayasOlivier Assayas
25 January 1955
Screenwriter, Film director, Film critic, Writer
Eugène François VidocqEugène François Vidocq
24 July 1775
Detective, Writer, Police officer, Military
Emmanuel LevinasEmmanuel Levinas
12 January 1906
Philosopher, University teacher, Ethicist, Writer