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Maupassant, Guy

1850-93



French writer, born in Normandy. He was encouraged in his writing by his godfather Flaubert.

He wrote novels and plays but his reputation rests on his many short stories and he is considered the greatest French short story writer.

During the 1880's Maupassant created some 300 short stories, six novels, three travel books, and one volume of verse. His masterpiece is 'Boule De Suif' (Ball of Fat).

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Sand, George

1804-76



George Sand is the pen name of Amandine -Aurore - Lucille Dudevant.

Born in Paris, known as a Romantic novelist and famous for her numerous love affairs (with de Musset and Chopin among others).

Her first novel 'Indiana' - a passionate protest against the social conventions that bind a wife to her husband against her will - brought her immediate fame. It was followed by over 100 books, the most successful being those describing rustic life.

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Tocqueville, Alexis

1805-59



Historian, lawyer and political scientist, born in Verneuil, France. After a trip to the USA in 1831, he published a penetrating political study 'Democracy in America', which gave him a European reputation.

Back in Paris he entered politics and became briefly minister of foreign affairs. After Louis Napoleon's coup, he retired to his estate, where he wrote a history of the Old Regime and the Revolution.

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Zola, Emile

1840-1902



Emile Eduard Charles Antoine Zola was born in Paris, where he became known as realistic novelist. He wrote a series of novels portraying the life of a French family, which include 'L'Assommoir' and 'Germinal'.

In 1898 Zola published 'J'accuse' indicting the persecutors of Dreyfus. Dreyfus was a French Jewish army officer, who was falsely charged with giving military secrets to the Germans. Zola was sentenced to imprisonment. He escaped to England, and returned after Dreyfus had been cleared.

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Biography