Roger Vercel

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Roger Vercel in 1934

Roger Vercel (born Roger Cretin; 8 January 1894 Le Mans – 26 February 1957 Dinan) was a French writer.


Vercel was fascinated by the sea and marine life. Although he virtually never went to sea, most of his novels featured a maritime setting.

World War I interrupted his studies of letters. Early in the war his poor eyesight left him a stretcher-bearer on the battlefields of northern and eastern France. Because of a shortage of army officers, he returned to Saint-Cyr. He ended the war on the eastern front, and was discharged a year after the Armistice.

He returned to Dinan, where in 1921 he was appointed professor at the College of Letters. He earned a doctorate in letters in 1927, with a thesis entitled: "The images in the work of Corneille". The Académie française awarded it the Saintour prize of literary history. Dinan extinguished it in 1957.[clarification needed]

His war memories inspired some of his earlier books: Our Father Trajan, Captain Conan, Lena, but the maritime world makes up the heart of his work. Off Eden earned him the Prix Femina from the France-America Committee in 1932. He won the Prix Goncourt in 1934 for Capitaine Conan.

Several of his works were brought to the screen:

  • Trailers, 1941 (dir. Jean Gremillion, with Jean Gabin, Michèle Morgan, Madeleine Renaud, Fernand Ledoux)
  • Duguesclin, 1949 (dir. Bernard de Latour, with Gisele Casadesus, Louis de Funès Gérard Oury)
  • The murky waters, 1949 (dir. Henri Calef, with Jean Vilar, Ginette Leclerc, André Valmy, Mouloudji) is based on the new blades Deaf.
  • The great bulwarks, 1954 (dir. Jacques Pinoteau Courcel Nicole Marie Mansard, Jean-Pierre Mocky)
  • Capitaine Conan, 1996 (dir. Bertrand Tavernier, Philippe Torreton, Samuel Le Bihan, Bernard Le Coq)


  • Simone Vercel, "Roger Vercel, my father." in L'Humanite, September 19, 1996.
  • Erwann Letilleul Roger Vercel, maritime writer, Chasse-tidal No. 142, p. 24-35, April 2001.
  • Jacques Georgel, "Roger Vercel" biography. Apogee Publishing, 2006, 189 p.



  • Les images dans l'œuvre de Corneille, thèse pour le doctorat ès lettres, A. Olivier, 1927.
  • Lexique comparé des métaphores dans le théâtre de Corneille et de Racine, thèse complémentaire pour le doctorat ès-lettres, A. Olivier, 1927.
  • Un programme d'éducation générale in Disciplines d'action, Vichy, Paris, Commissariat général à l'éducation générale et aux sports, 1942.


  • Notre père Trajan, Albin Michel, 1930.
  • En Dérive, Albin Michel, 1931.
  • Au Large de l'Eden, Albin Michel, 1932.
  • Le maître du rêve, Albin Michel, 1933.
  • Capitaine Conan, Albin Michel, 1934.
  • Remorques, Albin Michel, 1935. Les Bibliophiles de France, 1957
  • Léna, Albin Michel, 1936.
  • Sous le pied de l'archange, Albin Michel, 1937.
  • Jean Villemeur, Albin Michel, 1939.
  • La Hourie, Albin Michel, 1942.
  • Aurore boréale, Albin Michel, 1947.
  • La caravane de Pâques, Albin Michel, 1948. (illustrations par Frédéric Back)
  • La fosse aux vents :
    • I.- Ceux de la Galatée, Albin Michel, 1949.
    • II.- La peau du Diable, Albin Michel, 1950.
    • II.- Atalante, Albin Michel, 1951.
  • Visage perdu, Albin Michel, 1953.
  • L'Île des revenants, Albin Michel, 1954.
  • Été indien, Albin Michel, 1956.


  • Du Guesclin, Albin Michel, 1932; Éditions Arc-en-ciel, 1944 (illustrations by Frédéric Back); Editions de la Nouvelle France, 1944 (illustration by Jacques Lechantre).
  • Le Bienheureux Charles de Blois, Albin Michel, 1942.
  • Nos vaillants capitaines, Impr. de Curial-Archereau, 1945.