Antoinette Henriette Clémence Robert

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Antoinette Henriette Clémence Robert
Born (1797-12-06)6 December 1797
Mâcon, France
Died 1 December 1872(1872-12-01) (aged 74)
Paris, France
Pen name Clémence Robert
Language French
Genre historical fiction, military fiction
Subject biography, history
Literary movement Romanticism
Relatives Henri Robert (brother)

Antoinette Henriette Clémence Robert (6 December 1797 – 1 December 1872) was a French writer of historical fiction, poetry, non-fiction, stage plays, and short stories. From 1855 to 1870, she and Virginie Ancelot were the most popular novelists of the roman populaire genre.[1] She published much of her work as Clémence Robert.

Mlle Robert was born in Mâcon in December 1797. She was a strong student with a penchant for history.[2] Her first published work was Cri de joie d’une Française sur la naissance de SAR Mgr le duc de Bordeaux (Mme Ve Porthmann 1820). Her father was a deputy judge in Mâcon. When he died in 1830, the year of the July Revolution, she moved to Paris for the society of other women writers, and to reunite with her older brother (esteemed clockmaker Henri Robert).[3] In her early days in Paris, she worked in a library. In 1845 she retired to the quiet of Abbaye-aux-Bois, a Catholic convent that also let rooms to women of high social standing; soon, however, she returned to her career.[2][3] Her stay there coincided with a major literary salon hosted by her friends François-René de Chateaubriand and Juliette Récamier, in Mlle Récamier's quarters at the abbey. Clémence Robert died in Paris in 1872, five days before her 75th birthday.

While contemporary novelists drifted toward escapist fiction, her historical novels revisited themes of socialism and républicanisme. Her views were shaped in part by the work of anti-Catholic socialist Eugène Sue (1804–1857).[1][2][4]

With Camille Leynadier, she compiled and edited the memoirs of Giuseppe Garibaldi, which they presented as a biography, dramatised in parts. Her most famous short story was "Baron de Trenck", which relates an adventure of the Prussian officer Friedrich von der Trenck, and was inspired by his widely published autobiography.

Published works[edit]

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  • Le Marquis de Pombal. Brussels. 1844.  An historical novel concerning Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, 1st Marquess of Pombal
  • William Shakespeare (in French). Brussels. 1844.  A German edition was also published in Leipzig.
  • Les quatre sergents de La Rochelle [The Four Sergeants of La Rochelle]. Paris. 1849. 
  • Le Mont Saint-Michel, roman historique. 1856.  (Year of publication is approximate.)
  • Le poëte de la reine [The Queen's Poet]. Paris: Arnauld de Vresse. 1859.  (Year of publication is approximate.)
  • Mémoires authentiques sur Garibaldi. Paris: Fayard. 1860. 
  • Les victimes du fanatisme [Victims of Fanaticism]. Paris: Arnauld de Vresse. 1864. 
  • Paris Silhouettes. Paris: Louis Janet. 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Olivier-Martin, Yves (1980). "Introduction" (PDF). Histoire du roman populaire. éditions Albin Michel. ISBN 9782226008695. OCLC 6814807. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c The Scrap Book, Volume II: September, 1906 to February, 1907. New York: The Frank A. Munsey Company. 1907. p. 151. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Vapereau, Louis Gustave, ed. (1858). Dictionnaire universel des contemporains [Universal Dictionary of Contemporaries] (in French). 2 (L–Z). Paris: Hachette Livre. pp. 1552–3. OCLC 229946820. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Cowen, David. "Popular Fiction in the Nineteenth Century". In Unwin, Timothy. The Cambridge Companion to the French Novel: From 1800 to the Present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 80. ISBN 9780521499149. OCLC 36084649. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

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