Pierre-Joseph Alary (19 March 1689, Paris – 15 December 1770) was a French ecclesiastic and writer.
Prior of Gournay-sur-Marne and sous-précepteur to Louis XV, he attended the salon of Madame de Lambert, was elected to the Académie française in 1723 and the following year was one of the founders of the Club de l'Entresol.
Bachaumont commented on Alary's election to the:
|“||He was an apothecary's son, who had managed to reach his fortune by intrigues. It is not well known what title he has to his seat in the sanctuary of the muses, for no work by him is known. [...] Even so, he speaks beautifully, is a handsome man and very-well-thought-of amongst women; this, for more than one of his brother-academicians, took the place of literary merit.||”|
Alary's successor in the Académie, Gabriel-Henri Gaillard, gave a completely different portrait:
|“||This modest scholar searched for obscurity as he sought for glory. [...] He recounted much, and one always heard him; he always had philosophy in view, and that he spoke as a man of the world : it was his taste that showed the treasures of study and experience.||”|
- Mémoires secrets, vol. 5, p. 200, 18 décembre 1770 (1784)
- Cited by Tyrtée Tastet, Histoire des quarante fauteuils de l'Académie française depuis la fondation jusqu'à nos jours, 1635-1855, volume III, p. 266-67 (1855)
- Nicolas Clément, L'abbé Alary : 1690-1770. Un homme d'influence au XVIIIe siècle, H. Champion, Paris, 2002.