From humble origins in rural France, Charles Péguy went on to become one of the leading intellectuals of early twentieth-century French socialism. A prominent player in the Dreyfusard campaign, a prolific essayist, playwright, poet and polemicist, and in later life a devout but fervidly anticlerical Roman Catholic, Péguy is known for his fierce critiques of capitalist modernity and his heretical blend of socialism, nationalism and Christian mysticism. Since his death in the Battle of the Marne, his influence has been felt on both left and right, but despite a legacy besmirched by his posthumous co-optation by writers associated with French literary fascism he remains highly regarded in his homeland and abroad, both for his literary brilliance and his inimitable social criticism.


2670 words

Citation: Horrox, James. "Charles Péguy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 March 2011 [, accessed 14 April 2024.]

3525 Charles Péguy 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.