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.

Jean-Jacques RousseauJean-Jacques Rousseau
28 June 1712
Philosopher, Writer, & Composer
VoltaireVoltaire
21 November 1694
Writer

Albert CamusAlbert Camus
07 November 1913
Philosopher

Victor HugoVictor Hugo
26 February 1802
Author & Poet

Marquis de SadeMarquis de Sade
02 June 1740
Erotic Novelist

Jules VerneJules Verne
08 February 1828
Writer
Alexandre DumasAlexandre Dumas
24 July 1802
 

Simone de BeauvoirSimone de Beauvoir
09 January 1908
Writer

Marcel ProustMarcel Proust
10 July 1871
French novelist

ColetteColette
28 January 1873
Novelist
Jacques DerridaJacques Derrida
15 July 1930
Philosopher

Jean-Paul MaratJean-Paul Marat
24 May 1743
Physician
Charles BaudelaireCharles Baudelaire
09 April 1821
Poet

Guy de MaupassantGuy de Maupassant
05 August 1850
Novelist & Short Story Writer

Arthur RimbaudArthur Rimbaud
20 October 1854
Poet
Honoré de BalzacHonoré de Balzac
20 May 1799
French Novelist and Playwright

George SandGeorge Sand
01 July 1804
 
Denis DiderotDenis Diderot
05 October 1713
Philosopher

Jean CocteauJean Cocteau
05 July 1889
Novelist, Poet, Artist & Filmmaker

Thomas MertonThomas Merton
31 January 1915
Writer
Milan KunderaMilan Kundera
01 April 1929
Writer

Antonin ArtaudAntonin Artaud
04 September 1896
Dramatist, Poet, Essayist, Actor, & Theatre
Samuel BenchetritSamuel Benchetrit
26 June 1973
Writer

Henri BergsonHenri Bergson
18 October 1859
Philosopher and Writer

Gustave FlaubertGustave Flaubert
12 December 1821
Novelist, Writer

Marjane Satrapi Marjane Satrapi
22 November 1969
Graphic Novelist
Cyrano de BergeracCyrano de Bergerac
06 March 1619
Dramatist and Playwright
Romain GaryRomain Gary
21 May 1914
Diplomat

René GirardRené Girard
25 December 1923
Philosopher

François RabelaisFrançois Rabelais
04 February 1494
Writer

StendhalStendhal
23 January 1783
Writer
R. D. LaingR. D. Laing
07 October 1927
Psychiatrist

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Hilaire BellocHilaire Belloc
27 July 1870
Writer

Anatole FranceAnatole France
16 April 1844
Writer

Christine de PizanChristine de Pizan
1364 AD
Poet & Author

Robert W. ServiceRobert W. Service
16 January 1874
Poet & Writer
Jean Patrick ModianoPatrick Modiano
30 July 1945
French Novelist

Alexander BerkmanAlexander Berkman
21 November 1870
Editor
Stéphane MallarméStéphane Mallarmé
18 March 1842
Poet

Alphonse de LamartineAlphonse de Lamartine
21 October 1790
Writer

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

Alfred de VignyAlfred de Vigny
27 March 1797
Poet, Playwright, Novelist
Emile ZolaEmile Zola
02 April 1840
French novelist

MoliereMoliere
15 January 1622
Playwright, Actor and Stage Manager

Andre BretonAndre Breton
19 February 1896
Founder of Surrealism

Oscar MiloszOscar Milosz
28 May 1877
Poet

Antoine de Saint-ExuperyAntoine de Saint-Exupery
29 June 1900
French writer
Paul ValeryPaul Valery
30 October 1871
Poet

Andre MalrauxAndre Malraux
03 November 1901
French Novelist

Élisée ReclusElisee Reclus
15 March 1830
Geographer, Anarchist, Writer

Andre GideAndre Gide
22 November 1869
 
Alejandro JodorowskyAlejandro Jodorowsky
17 February 1929
Writer, Film director, Actor, Playwright,

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

W. Somerset MaughamW. Somerset Maugham
25 January 1874
Playwright, Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter

Allan KardecAllan Kardec
03 October 1804
Writer, Teacher, Philosopher
François TruffautFrançois Truffaut
06 February 1932
Film director, Screenwriter, Film actor, Film

Robert ClaryRobert Clary
01 March 1926
Actor
Michel HouellebecqMichel Houellebecq
26 February 1956
Poet, Film director, Songwriter, Essayist,

Joël RobuchonJoël Robuchon
07 April 1945
Chef

Dora MaarDora Maar
22 November 1907
Photographer, Artist, Painter, Poet,
Charles PerraultCharles Perrault
12 January 1628
Writer, Poet, Children's writer, Screenwriter,

Jean GiraudJean Giraud
08 May 1938
Caricaturist, Comics writer, Screenwriter, Science
Marie TussaudMarie Tussaud
01 December 1761
Sculptor

Georges BatailleGeorges Bataille
10 September 1897
Philosopher, Librarian, Poet, Novelist, Writer,

Auguste EscoffierAuguste Escoffier
28 October 1846
Chef

Olympe de GougesOlympe de Gouges
07 May 1748
Playwright, Journalist, Philosopher, Writer,
Emil CioranEmil Cioran
08 April 1911
Philosopher, Writer, Diarist, Aphorist
Vilfredo ParetoVilfredo Pareto
15 July 1848
Economist, Writer, Philosopher, Sociologist,

Benoit MandelbrotBenoit Mandelbrot
20 November 1924
Mathematician, Economist, Professor, Scientist,

Aubrey BeardsleyAubrey Beardsley
21 August 1872
Illustrator

Jean GenetJean Genet
19 December 1910
Writer, Playwright, Poet, Film director,
Mylène FarmerMylène Farmer
12 September 1961
Singer-songwriter, Writer, Singer, Actor,

Peter AbelardPeter Abelard
1079 AD
Theologian, Philosopher, Composer, Linguist, Poet,

Paul VerlainePaul Verlaine
30 March 1844
Poet, Essayist, Writer, Librettist

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

Anna KarinaAnna Karina
22 September 1940
Actor, Singer, Film director, Novelist,
Savitri DeviSavitri Devi
30 September 1905
Writer, Poet

Guillaume ApollinaireGuillaume Apollinaire
25 August 1880
Poet
Georges CuvierGeorges Cuvier
23 August 1769
Geologist, Anatomist, Paleontologist, Politician,

Marguerite DurasMarguerite Duras
04 April 1914
Writer, Film director, Screenwriter, Publisher,

Bruno LatourBruno Latour
22 June 1947
Philosopher, Anthropologist, Sociologist,
Julia KristevaJulia Kristeva
24 June 1941
Philosopher, Writer, Feminist

Alain BadiouAlain Badiou
17 January 1937
Philosopher, Novelist, Playwright, Editor,
Francis de SalesFrancis de Sales
16 August 1567
Theologian, Priest, Writer

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

Betsy DrakeBetsy Drake
11 September 1923
Actor, Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter, Stage
Mirra AlfassaMirra Alfassa
21 February 1878
Mystic, Writer

Jean-François LyotardJean-François Lyotard
10 August 1924
Philosopher, Philologist, Writer, Linguist,
Jacques MesrineJacques Mesrine
28 December 1936
Criminal

Louis-Ferdinand CélineLouis-Ferdinand Céline
27 May 1894
French novelist
Emmanuel LevinasEmmanuel Levinas
12 January 1906
Philosopher, University teacher, Ethicist, Writer

Arthur de GobineauArthur de Gobineau
14 July 1816
Racial theorist, Philosopher, Writer, Diplomat,
Michel SerresMichel Serres
01 September 1930
Philosopher, Writer