He received a brilliant education, and in 1813 became assistant in the imperial library, and in 1832 one of the directors of that institution. His theatrical criticisms in Le Globe (1826-1830), his lectures at the Sorbonne (1834-1835) on the origin of the modern stage, and his various writings won for him the praise of Sainte-Beuve, and a seat in the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. Magnin also wrote poetry and plays.
His principal works are:
- Origines du théâtre moderne (1838)
- Causeries et méditations (2 vols., 1843)
- Théâtre de Hroswitha (1845, with text and translation)
- Histoire des marionettes (1852).
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- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Ripley, George; Dana, Charles A., eds. (1879). "Magnin, Charles". The American Cyclopædia.
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