Alphonse Daudet, L'Immortel

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Alphonse Daudet’s 1888 novel

L’Immortel

is based on one of the more bizarre forgery scandals of the nineteenth century. In 1869 Michel Chasles, an eminent geometrist and academician, presented the Académie des sciences with letters from Pascal which flattered French nationalist pride by apparently demonstrating that it was he, and not Newton, who had first formulated a theory of gravity. These letters, the authenticity of which was immediately questioned by scientists and Newton scholars on both sides of the Channel, were from Chasles’s personal collection of some 27,000 autographs, all from significant historical figures (ranging from Joan of Arc to Alexander the Great via Mary Magdalene and Vercingétorix), all written in an eccentric early modern French idiolect, and all finally…

2073 words

Citation: Bielecki, Emma . "L'Immortel". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 March 2013 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=34658, accessed 22 April 2024.]

34658 L'Immortel 3 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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