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Famous Writers
of the Loire Valley

Hotels and restaurants
in the Loire Valley

George Sand (Aurore Dupin, baroness Dudevant, alias George) 
(Paris 1804 - Nohant 1876) 

Her first novel Rose et blanche was written in collaboration with Jules Sandeau who gave her her pen name.  After several turbulent years marked by affairs with Alfred de Musset, Liszt and Chopin, she finished her life at her residence in Nohant (which can be visited). Her abundant works were a great success in her lifetime. 

Principal works: Les Beaux messieurs de Bois Dore, Elle et lui, François le Champi, Jean de la Roche, La Mare au diable, La Petite Fadette, Mademoiselle Merquem and Un Hiver à Majorque
To order: alapage | fnac 


 François Rabelais
(1494 near Chinon - 1553 Paris)

He lived in different abbeys of the Loire Valley until the age of thirty.  He was a priest from 1511 to 1527 when he renounced his vows. He became a doctor and then again a priest.  He entitled his first book Les Horribles et épouvantables faits et prouesses du très renommé Pantagruel published in 1532 under the pen name Alcofribas Nasier. 

Principal works: Gargantua and Pantagruel
To order: alapage | fnac 


 Alfred De Vigny (Comte De Vigny)
(Loches 1797 - Paris 1863)

Until 1827, he was a captain in the royal guard and lived a monotonous life in the garrison.  He wrote his first book Poêmes antiques et modernes in 1826. Disappointed by the literary world and an uneventful military career, he withdrew to his country home of Maine-Giraud (Charente - 16). 

Principal works: Chatterton, Cinq mars, Servitude et grandeur militaires and numerous poems. 
To order: alapage | fnac 

 Honoré de Balzac
(Tours 1799 - Paris 1850)

After studying law, he began a career as a notary clerk before writing his first novel Gobseck in 1830.  This prolific writer, author of La Comédie Humaine which is a collection of about a hundred of his novels and short stories, lived most of his life in his residence at Saché (near Azay-Le-Rideau, Indre-et-Loire - 37). 

Principal works: La Peau de chagrin, Le Colonel Chabert, Eugénie Grandet, Le Père Goriot, Le Lys dans la vallée, Les Illusions perdues, La Cousine bette and Le Cousin Pons
To order: alapage | fnac 


 René Descartes
(La Haye Descartes 1596 - Stockholm 1650)

He went to primary and secondary school at La Flèche until the age of 20. In 1617,  he enrolled in the Dutch army and lived in Holland from 1617 to 1649.  His most famous work, Le Discours de la méthode (Discourse on Method), was published in 1637.  The house where he spent part of his childhood can be visited in the city of Châtellerault (Vienne - 86). 

Principal works: Cogito 75 : Méditations métaphysiques (Meditations on Philosophy), Le Discours de la méthode (Discourse on Method), La Recherche de la vérité (Search for the Truth) and Principes de philosophie (Principles of Philosophy). 
To order: alapage | fnac 

 Pierre de Ronsard
(Couture-Sur-Loir 1524 - Saint-Côsmes-en-L'Isle near Tours 1585)

Forced to renounce a military career because of deafness, he turned to the study of Latin and Greek under the direction of Dorat. Having ecclesiastic advantages and being an official poet of Charles X, he intervened, through his writings, on the side of the Catholics in the Wars of Religion. After the failure of his sonnet, La Franciade, Ronsard withdrew to the priory of Saint-Cosmes-en-l'Isle. The priory located near Tours can be visited and each year, at the beginning of summer, it hosts a rose festival. 

Principal works: Les Amours, Continuation des amours, Les Amours d'Hélène and numerous poems. 
To order: alapage | fnac 


 Joachim Du Bellay
(Liré, Maine-et-Loire 1522 - Paris 1560)

Poet member of the Pléiade, for which he wrote the manifesto Défense et illustration de la langue française in 1549. (The Defense and Glorification of the French Language). His sonnets, which are often melancholic, express his disappointments and nostalgia.  This is true of Les Regrets which he wrote in 1558 during his trip to Rome as secretary for his cousin, the cardinal Jean du Bellay. 

Principal works: Défense et illustration de la langue française, Les Regrets, Les Antiquités de Rome and  l'Olive



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