Jacques Chardonne

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Jacques Chardonne birthplace in Barbezieux, Charente, France

Jacques Chardonne (born Jacques Boutelleau; 2 January 1884, in Barbezieux-Saint-Hilaire, Charente – 29 May 1968, in La Frette-sur-Seine) is the pseudonym of French writer Jacques Boutelleau. He was a member of the so-called Groupe de Barbezieux.

Early life and career[edit]

Raised Protestant, his American Quaker mother was an heiress to the Haviland porcelain dynasty and his father was French. His brother-in-law was of the Delamain cognac dynasty. This informed his trilogy Les Destinées Sentimentales.[1] He was a leader of the Hussards and held in high regard for the award-winning Claire.

World War II[edit]

He supported collaboration with the Vichy and in 1940 produced "Private Chronicle 1940", which favored the submission of Europe to Adolf Hitler.[2] He was a member of the Groupe Collaboration, an initiative that encouraged close cultural ties between France and Germany.[3] After World War II he was denounced for Nazi collaboration[4] and spent time in prison.[5] In an article titled "Jacques Chardonne et Mein Kampf" the 'Frenchness' of his writing was also questioned.[6]

Death and rehabilitation[edit]

He died in 1968 after efforts to restore his image. By the 1980s anti-totalitarian journalists like Raymond Aron began to reappraise collaborationist authors like Chardonne.[7] In 1986 his award-winning Claire was made into a TV film[8] and in 2001 Olivier Assayas adapted Les Destinées Sentimentales to film.[9]