Guy de Maupassant

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Short story writers

Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant[1] (5 August 1850 – 6 July 1893) was a popular 19th-century French writer, considered one of the fathers of the modern short story and one of the form's finest exponents.

A protégé of Flaubert, Maupassant's stories are characterized by their economy of style and efficient, effortless dénouement. Many of the stories are set during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870s and several describe the futility of war and the innocent civilians who, caught in the conflict, emerge changed. He also wrote six novels.

Contents

Biography

Henri-René-Albert-Guy de Maupassant was born on August 5, 1850 at the château de Miromesnil, near Dieppe in the Seine-Inférieure (now Seine-Maritime) department. He was the first son of Laure Le Poittevin and Gustave de Maupassant, both from prosperous bourgeois families. When Maupassant was eleven and his brother Hervé was five, his mother, an independent-minded woman, risked social disgrace to obtain a legal separation from her husband.

After separating from her husband, Le Poittevin kept her two sons, the elder Guy and younger Hervé. With the father’s absence, Maupassant’s mother became the most influential figure in the young boy’s life. She was a woman of no common literary accomplishments, but was very fond of classic literature, especially Shakespeare. Until the age of thirteen, Guy happily lived with his mother, to whom he was deeply devoted, at Étretat, in the Villa des Verguies, where, between the sea and the luxuriant countryside, he grew very fond of fishing and outdoor activities. At age thirteen, he was sent to a small seminary near Rouen for classical studies.

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