X. B. Saintine

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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 comte 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]


  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]