The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard

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The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard
Simeon - illustration Crime de Sylvestre Bonnard frontispice.jpeg
Frontispiece by Fernand Siméon
Author Anatole France
Original title Le Crime de Sylvestre Bonnard
Country France
Language French
Published 1881
Pages 325
Original text
Le Crime de Sylvestre Bonnard at French Wikisource

The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard (French: Le Crime de Sylvestre Bonnard) is the first novel by Anatole France, published in 1881. With this work, one of his first written entirely in prose, he made himself known as a novelist; he had been primarily known as a poet affiliated with Parnassianism. The novel received the Académie française prize.

In 1929 it was adapted into a French silent film of the same title.


Sylvestre Bonnard, a member of the Institute, is a historian and philologist, gifted with great erudition. He lives among books, and launches himself into the research, in Sicily and Paris, of the precious manuscript of the French version of the Golden Legend, which he finally obtains. By chance he meets a young girl named Jeanne, the granddaughter of a woman he once loved. To protect the child from her abusive guardian Maitre Mouche, he takes her away, and she ends up marrying Henri Gelis, one of Bonnard's students.

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