Jean de La Fontaine

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16th century · 17th century
18th century · 19th century
20th century · Contemporary

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Jean de La Fontaine (July 8, 1621, Château-Thierry – April 13, 1695) was the most famous French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century.

According to Flaubert, he was the only French poet to understand and master the texture of the French language before Hugo. A set of postage stamps celebrating La Fontaine and the Fables was issued by France in 1995. A film of his life was released in France in April 2007 (Jean de La Fontaine - le défi starring Lorant Deutsch).



Early years

La Fontaine was born at Château-Thierry in Champagne. His father was Charles de La Fontaine, maître des eaux et forêts - a kind of deputy-ranger - of the duchy of Château-Thierry; his mother was Françoise Pidoux. Both sides of his family were of the highest provincial middle class; though they were not noble, his father was fairly wealthy.

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