X. B. Saintine

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X. B. Saintine
Saintine, engraving by Bocourt
Born Joseph Xavier Boniface
10 July 1798
Died 21 January 1864(1864-01-21) (aged 65)
Occupation Playwright, novelist
Cover of Antoine, 1839

Xavier Boniface Saintine (10 July 1798 – 21 January 1865) was a French dramatist and novelist.


He was born Joseph Xavier Boniface in Paris in 1798. In 1823, he produced a volume of poetry in the manner of the Romanticists, entitled Poèmes, odes, épîtres. In 1836 appeared Picciola, a novel about the Count de Charney, a political prisoner in Piedmont, whose reason was saved by his cultivation of a tiny flower growing between the paving stones of his prison yard. This story is a masterpiece of the sentimental kind, and has been translated into many European languages.[1] The novel earned him renown and came to be regarded as a classic of French literature.[2]

He produced many other novels, none of striking individuality with the exception of Seul (1857), which purported to be the authentic record of Alexander Selkirk on his desert island. Saintine was a prolific dramatist, and collaborated in more than 200 pieces with Eugène Scribe and others, usually under the name of Xavier. He co-wrote the story which was to form the basis for Bellini's opera I puritani. He died in Paris in 1865.[1][2]

Selected works[edit]

A very prolific author, he wrote more than 200 theatre plays and novels under the pen names Saintine, X.B. Saintine, Joseph Xavier Saintine, Xavier.

  • Poëmes, odes, épitres. (1823)
  • Jonathan le Visionnaire, contes philosophiques et moraux. [1](1825)
  • Histoire des Guerres d'Italie, Campagne des Alpes. (1826)
  • Histoire de la Civilisation antédiluvienne. (1830)
  • Le Mutilé. [2] (1832)
  • Une Maîtresse de Louis XIII. in 2 volumes [3] & [4] (1834)
  • Picciola. (1836)
  • Les Soirées de Jonathan, in 2 volumes [5] & [6] (1837)
  • Antoine, l'ami de Robespierre. [7](1839)
  • Les Récits dans la Tourelle : Un Rossignol pris au Trébuchet, etc. [8]. (1844)
  • Les Métamorphoses de la Femme. [9] (1846)
  • Les trois Reines. (1853)
  • Seul ! (1857)
  • Chrisna. [10] (1860)
  • Trois ans en Judée. [11] (1860)
  • La belle Cordière et ses trois amoureux. (1861)
  • Le Chemin des écoliers (1861) including an illustrated edition with 450 vignettes by Gustave Doré, grand in-8, broché. [12]
  • Contes de toutes les couleurs : Léonard le cocher, etc. [13] (1862)
  • La Mythologie du Rhin [14] ;(1862) including an edition illustrated by Gustave Doré, grand in-8, broché.
  • La Mère Gigogne et ses trois filles : La nature et ses trois règnes ; causeries et contes d'un bon papa sur l'histoire naturelle et les objets les plus usuels (1863), grand in-8, illustrated with 171 vignettes by Foulquier and Faguet, broché. [15]
  • La Seconde Vie. (1864)
Theater plays


  1. ^ a b The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, 11th ed.
  2. ^ a b Garnett, Richard, ed. (1899). The International Library of Famous Literature: Selections from the World's Great Writers Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, with Biographical and Explanatory Notes and Critical Essays by Many Eminent Writers, Vol. X. London: The Standard, p. 4732.

Further reading[edit]

  • Clapin, A. C. (1883). "Preface", Picciola. Oxford University Press. Detailed biography of Saintine in the introduction to his most famous work.

External links[edit]