Georges Feydeau

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Georges Feydeau, (8 December 1862 – 5 June 1921) was a French playwright of the era known as the Belle Époque. He is remembered for his many lively farces.

Contents

Biography

Georges Feydeau was born in Paris, the son of novelist Ernest-Aimé Feydeau and Léocadie Bogaslawa Zalewska. At the age of twenty, Feydeau wrote his first comic monologue in earnest. He found his first success four years later with Tailleur pour dames (Ladies' Dressmaker, 1889). That same year Feydeau married Marianne Carolus-Duran, the daughter of the famous portrait painter Carolus-Duran. To Feydeau, the marriage brought wealth that would sustain him until he found greater success. The marriage lasted 15 years after which the couple underwent a judicial separation and were formally divorced in 1916.

Feydeau began investigating the great farces in 1890, studying the works of Eugène Labiche, Henri Meilhac and Alfred Hennequin. This study inspired him to write his acclaimed play Champignol malgré lui (Champignol in Spite of Himself, 1892). Following this, Feydeau made a name for himself both in France and abroad, some of his plays opening overseas and in other languages before they opened in France.

These farces often involved Paris's demi-monde. They are noted for great wit and complex plots, featuring misunderstandings and coincidences, and what one critic called "jack-in-the-box construction".[cite this quote]

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