Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve, one of the most respected critics in nineteenth century France as well as the rest of Europe, lived during a rich period of French literary activity, from the 1820s to the 1860s. He chronicled the literature of his time, as well as reviewed the classics of the past. He was the pre-eminent literary critic in France for over forty years.

He was born at Boulogne-sur-Mer on December 23, 1804, son of Charles François de Sainte-Beuve, a tax collector, and Augustine Coilliot, housewife, of part-English heritage. He was their only child. Tragedy entered early in Sainte-Beuve’s life, when his father died two months before his birth. Of this, he once said that his cradle “rested on a coffin” (Nicolson, 4). As the only son, he was now the titular head of the

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Citation: Brantingham, Philip. "Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 September 2009 [, accessed 17 April 2024.]

3911 Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve 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.

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