Henry Becque

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Henry Becque by Nadar

Henry François Becque (9 April 1837 – 12 May 1899),[1] was a French dramatist. He was born in Paris.[2][3] He is best known for being the creator of Theatre of cruelty («théâtre cruel» in French).[4]


In 1867, he wrote, in imitation of Lord Byron, the libretto for Victorin de Joncières's opera Sardanapale, but his first important work, Michel Pauper, appeared in 1870. The importance of this sombre drama was first realized when it was revived at the Odéon in 1886. Les Corbeaux (1882) established Becque's position as an innovator, and in 1885 he produced his most successful play, La Parisienne. Becque produced little during the last years of his life, but his disciples carried on the tradition he had created.[5]

His other works include Querelles littéraires (1890), and Souvenirs d'un auteur dramatique (1895), consisting chiefly of reprinted articles in which he does not spare his opponents. His Théâtre complet (3 vols., 1899) includes L'Enfant prodigue (Vaudeville Theatre, 6 November 1868); Michel Pauper (Théâtre de la Porte-Saint-Martin, 17 June 1870); L'Enlèvement (Vaudeville, 18 November 1871); La Navette (Gymnase, 15 November 1878); Les Honnêtes Femmes (Gymnase, 1 January 1880); Les Corbeaux (Comédie-Française, 14 September 1882); and La Parisienne (Théâtre de la Renaissance, 7 February 1885).[5]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Barbara T. Cooper, French dramatists, 1789-1914, Gale Research, 1998, p. 12.
  2. ^ McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama, McGraw-Hill, 1972, p. 160; Frank Northen Magill, Critical Survey of Drama: Authors, Salem Press, 1986, p. 167.
  3. ^ Other sources indicate Neuilly as his place of birth: Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia Of Literature, Merriam-Webster, 1995, p. 118.
  4. ^ https://libretheatre.fr/theatre-dhenry-becque/
  5. ^ a b Chisholm 1911.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Becque, Henry François" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

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