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.

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

21 November 1694

Victor HugoVictor Hugo
26 February 1802
Author & Poet

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

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

Simone de BeauvoirSimone de Beauvoir
09 January 1908

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

Jean-Paul MaratJean-Paul Marat
24 May 1743
28 January 1873

Honoré de BalzacHonoré de Balzac
20 May 1799
French Novelist and Playwright

Arthur RimbaudArthur Rimbaud
20 October 1854

Charles BaudelaireCharles Baudelaire
09 April 1821

George SandGeorge Sand
01 July 1804
Thomas MertonThomas Merton
31 January 1915

Milan KunderaMilan Kundera
01 April 1929

Samuel BenchetritSamuel Benchetrit
26 June 1973

Romain GaryRomain Gary
21 May 1914
Jean CocteauJean Cocteau
05 July 1889
Novelist, Poet, Artist & Filmmaker

Guy de MaupassantGuy de Maupassant
05 August 1850
Novelist & Short Story Writer
Gustave FlaubertGustave Flaubert
12 December 1821
Novelist, Writer

Denis DiderotDenis Diderot
05 October 1713

Cyrano de BergeracCyrano de Bergerac
06 March 1619
Dramatist and Playwright
René GirardRené Girard
25 December 1923

Henri BergsonHenri Bergson
18 October 1859
Philosopher and Writer
Charles PerraultCharles Perrault
12 January 1628

Georges BatailleGeorges Bataille
10 September 1897

Marjane Satrapi Marjane Satrapi
22 November 1969
Graphic Novelist
Jean GenetJean Genet
19 December 1910

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R. D. LaingR. D. Laing
07 October 1927
Antonin ArtaudAntonin Artaud
04 September 1896
Dramatist, Poet, Essayist, Actor, & Theatre

23 January 1783

Hilaire BellocHilaire Belloc
27 July 1870

Olympe de GougesOlympe de Gouges
07 May 1748
François RabelaisFrançois Rabelais
04 February 1494
Paul VerlainePaul Verlaine
30 March 1844

Anatole FranceAnatole France
16 April 1844

Alexander BerkmanAlexander Berkman
21 November 1870

Christine de PizanChristine de Pizan
1364 AD
Poet & Author
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
Emile ZolaEmile Zola
02 April 1840
French novelist

15 January 1622
Playwright, Actor and Stage Manager

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

Andre MalrauxAndre Malraux
03 November 1901
French Novelist
Antoine de Saint-ExuperyAntoine de Saint-Exupery
29 June 1900
French writer

Élisée ReclusElisee Reclus
15 March 1830
Geographer, Anarchist, Writer

Andre GideAndre Gide
22 November 1869

Paul ValeryPaul Valery
30 October 1871

Frantz FanonFrantz Fanon
20 July 1925
Robert ClaryRobert Clary
01 March 1926

Alejandro JodorowskyAlejandro Jodorowsky
17 February 1929
Writer, Film director, Actor, Playwright,

Joël RobuchonJoël Robuchon
07 April 1945

François TruffautFrançois Truffaut
06 February 1932
Film director, Screenwriter, Film actor, Film
Gilles DeleuzeGilles Deleuze
18 January 1925
Philosopher, Historian, Writer, University

Pierre BourdieuPierre Bourdieu
01 August 1930
Philosopher, Sociologist, Anthropologist,
Michel HouellebecqMichel Houellebecq
26 February 1956
Poet, Film director, Songwriter, Essayist,

Jean GiraudJean Giraud
08 May 1938
Caricaturist, Comics writer, Screenwriter, Science

Anna KarinaAnna Karina
22 September 1940
Actor, Singer, Film director, Novelist,
Auguste EscoffierAuguste Escoffier
28 October 1846

Savitri DeviSavitri Devi
30 September 1905
Writer, Poet
Benoit MandelbrotBenoit Mandelbrot
20 November 1924
Mathematician, Economist, Professor, Scientist,

Peter AbelardPeter Abelard
1079 AD

Dora MaarDora Maar
22 November 1907
Photographer, Artist, Painter, Poet,
Olivier AssayasOlivier Assayas
25 January 1955
Screenwriter, Film director, Film critic, Writer

Marguerite DurasMarguerite Duras
04 April 1914
Writer, Film director, Screenwriter, Publisher,
Vilfredo ParetoVilfredo Pareto
15 July 1848
Economist, Writer, Philosopher, Sociologist,

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

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

René GuénonRené Guénon
15 November 1886
Jacques EllulJacques Ellul
06 January 1912
Theologian, Philosopher, Writer, Sociologist,
Betsy DrakeBetsy Drake
11 September 1923
Actor, Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter, Stage

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

Bertrand CantatBertrand Cantat
05 March 1964
Singer, Guitarist, Lyricist, Singer-songwriter,

Guillaume ApollinaireGuillaume Apollinaire
25 August 1880
Paul LangevinPaul Langevin
23 January 1872
Physicist, Professor, Chemist, Philosopher of

Alain BadiouAlain Badiou
17 January 1937
Philosopher, Novelist, Playwright, Editor,

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

Arthur de GobineauArthur de Gobineau
14 July 1816
Racial theorist, Philosopher, Writer, Diplomat,

Julia KristevaJulia Kristeva
24 June 1941
Philosopher, Writer, Feminist
Henrik, Prince Consort of DenmarkHenrik, Prince Consort of Denmark
11 June 1934
Poet, Writer, Visual artist, Pianist

Louis Antoine de Saint-JustLouis Antoine de Saint-Just
25 August 1767
Politician, Writer
Claude LelouchClaude Lelouch
30 October 1937
Film director, Screenwriter, Film producer, Actor,

Jean-François LyotardJean-François Lyotard
10 August 1924
Philosopher, Philologist, Writer, Linguist,
Jean de La FontaineJean de La Fontaine
08 July 1621
Writer, Poet, Lawyer
Eduard LimonovEduard Limonov
22 February 1943
Writer, Dissident, Politician, Poet, Human rights