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Henri-Robert (4 September 1863 – 12 May 1936) was a French lawyer, historian, and member of the Académie française in 1923.

Born of unknown parents and probably illegitimate, Henri-Robert was admitted to the Paris bar in 1885 and rose to become a celebrated criminal defense lawyer. He defended a young woman named Gabrielle Bompard in a sensational 1889 murder trial, calling in Georges Gilles de la Tourette as an expert witness on hypnotism.[1] He also defended the fraudster Thérèse Humbert, and the serial child killer Jeanne Weber, twice.[2] In 1903 a Paris correspondent for the New York Times described him as "an exceptionally successful lawyer... the favorite advocate of the criminal classes (who) has already saved innumerable heads from the guillotine".[3]

From 1913 through 1919 he was President of the Paris Bar. After the First World War, Henry-Robert turned his focus to civil litigation, and to the production of books on historical topics such as Mary Stuart, Henry VIII, Catherine de Médici, Marie-Antoinette, and Henri Coiffier de Ruzé, Marquis of Cinq-Mars.

Henri-Robert's daughter Jeanne Henri-Robert married the future French Prime Minister Paul Reynaud in 1912.


  1. ^ http://www.baillement.com/recherche/gdt/gdt_hypnotism.html
  2. ^ The underworld of Paris: secrets of the sûreté, Alfred Morain, 1931
  3. ^ Rowland Strong, New York Times, February 23, 1903

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