Mérimée was born in Paris on 18 September 1803 as the only child in a cultivated, free-thinking, anglophile family (his father Léonor Mérimée was taught drawing at the École polytechnique). The motto he later adopted, Μεμνησο απιστειν (“Remember to be distrustful”) is revealing: he preserved a timid and sensitive nature behind an asumed aloofness and formality. A voracious reader in a range of languages (Greek, Spanish, English, later Russian), he studied law in Paris (1819-23). From the age of 20 he mixed with painters and writers in liberal and Romantic salons, becoming (1822) a friend of Stendhal (in 1850 he circulated privately a pamphlet, H. B., commemorating his personality), and …
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Cogman, Peter. "Prosper Mérimée". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 June 2003
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5015, accessed 24 March 2018.]