In the early days of the Second Empire, Paul Bourget was born in Amiens to parents from the Ardèche region. Little is known about Bourget’s mother who died when he was only six, but his father, Justin Bourget, was a well-respected math professor whose career led the family to move from Amiens to Clermont-Ferrand, where young Paul spent most of his childhood and adolescence. Later in his life, Paul Bourget would assert the importance of


in his vision of race, tradition and family. His essay on Baudelaire describes the family as a social cell, a building block of society. Bourget saw humanity as composed of many distinct races, from which he concluded that the family unit was responsible for maintaining a single geographic, political and class identity. In his novel

Le Disciple

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Citation: Verhey, Melissa. "Paul Bourget". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 February 2016 [, accessed 16 July 2024.]

5791 Paul Bourget 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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