Louis Veuillot

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Louis Veuillot
Veuillot, by Nadar.jpg
Veuillot, by Nadar, 1873
Born (1813-10-11)11 October 1813
Boynes, Loiret Department, France
Died 7 March 1883(1883-03-07) (aged 69)
Paris, France
Occupation Journalist, writer
Nationality French
Spouse Mathilde
  • Marie
  • Agnès


Louis Veuillot (11 October 1813 – 7 March 1883) was a French journalist and writer.

Early life

Veuillot's birthplace

Louis Veuillot was born in Boynes, Loiret. His father, François Veuillot, was a traveling cooper, his mother a peasant. When he was five years of age, his family relocated to Paris. At thirteen, having attended briefly the École Mutuelle, he left school with little formal education and was hired as copyist in a lawyers' office by Fortuné Delavigne, brother of the famous poet Casimir Delavigne.[1] Auguste Barbier, Natalis and Jules de Wailly, Émile Perrin and Gustave Ollivier were his co-workers.[2] He devoted every free moment, especially at night, to the study of literature and history. Largely self-taught, he occasionally went to the Sorbonne to hear Cousin, Villemain or François Guizot.[3] In 1830, at the age of seventeen, Veuillot was given an editorial position among the staff of L'Echo de la Seine Inférieure, a Rouen newspaper, and a few years later he became editor-in-chief of Le Mémorial de la Dordonne at Périgueux.[4]

He returned to Paris in 1836. At the age of twenty-four one of his friends, Olivier Fulgence, invited him to go on a journey to Constantinople and the two of them set out for the Turkish city by way of Italy. Veuillot never got past Rome. There he converted to Catholicism, his religion for the rest of his life. On Good Friday of 1838 Veuillot made a general confession and on Easter Sunday he made his First Communion. The results of his conversion were published in Pélerinages en Suisse (1839), Rome et Lorette (1841) and other publications.


Veuillot by Nadar

In 1843, Veuillot joined the staff of the newspaper Univers Religieux, a journal created in 1833 by Abbé Migne, and soon helped make it the leading organ of ultramontane ideas as L'Univers. He edited the Univers for forty years (1843-1883). His methods of journalism, which made great use of irony and ad hominem criticism,[nb 1] had already provoked more than one duel, and he was imprisoned for a brief time for his polemics against the University of Paris. In 1848, he became editor of the newspaper, which was suppressed in 1860,[5] but revived in 1867, when Veuillot resumed his ultramontane propaganda, causing a second suppression of his journal in 1874.[6] Veuillot then occupied himself by writing polemical pamphlets against liberal Catholics, the Second French Empire and the Italian government. His services to the papal see were recognized by Pope Pius IX, on whom he wrote (1878) a monograph.

After Veuillot's death in 1883, his brother Eugène continued to edit it the Univers until 1905.

Critical reception

Matthew Arnold said of him:

M. Louis Veuillot is a polemic worthy of the golden age of polemics. He is singly devoted to ultramontanism; he lives on a small fixed salary from the proprietors of the Univers; he is a man of the purest and simplest domestic life; he is poor, and has a large family, but he has refused all offers of place and salary from the government, and maintains his entire independence.[7]

French diplomat Gabriel Hanotaux remarked:

An impetuous, brutal journalist, whose verve and ardour came from Rabelais and Voltaire through Joseph de Maistre, Louis Veuillot was at the same time an exquisite writer and a violent Christian; he distributed holy water as though it were vitriol and handled the crucifix like a club.[8]

Some of his papers were collected in Mélanges Religieux, Historiques et Littéraires (12 vols., 1857–1875), and his Correspondance (7 vols., 1883–85) has great political interest. His younger brother, Eugène Veuillot, published (1901–1904) a comprehensive and valuable life, Louis Veuillot.

In Popular culture

  • In Centaur of God (1938) by Jean de La Varende the narrator mentions Veuillot and his controversial paper: "He had walked through the woods, lest he should encounter his father — the Marquis by now would be sitting at the main gate with his Louis Veuillot. The Gazette de France might go for a whole day unopened, but never the Univers."[10]


  • Les Pèlerinages de Suisse 1838)
  • Pierre Saintive (1839)
  • Rome et Lorrette (1841)
  • De l'Action des Laiques dans la Question Religieuse (1843)
  • Histoirettes et fantaisies (1844–66)
  • Agnes de Lauwens: Mémoires de Soeur Saint-Louis (1845)
  • L'honnète femme (1844)
  • Les Français en Algérie (1845)
  • Les Libres-Penseurs (1848)
  • L'esclave Vindex (1849)
  • La Légalité: Dialogue Philosophique (1852)
  • La vie de la bienheureuse Germaine Cousin (1854)
  • Le droit du seigneur au moyen-Age (1854)
  • Corbin et d'Aubecourt (1854)
  • La guerre et l'homme de guerre (1855)
  • Le Parti Catholique (1856)
  • Mélanges Religieux, Historiques et Littéraires (22 vols. in 4 series, 1856; 1859; 1876; 1909)
  • De quelques erreurs sur la papauté (1859)
  • Cà et Là (2 vols. 1859; 1874)
  • Le Pape et la Diplomatie (1861)
  • Waterloo (1861)
  • Le parfum de Rome (2 vols. 1861; 1867)
  • Le fond de giboyer (1863)
  • Satires (1863)
  • La Vie de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ (1864; large illustrated edition, 1875)
  • Le Guêpier Italien (1865)
  • A Propos de la Guerre (1866)
  • Les odeurs de Paris (1867)
  • Les Couleuvres (1869)
  • La Liberté du Concile (1870)
  • Le lendemain de la victoire (1871)
  • Paris pendant les deux sieges (2 vols., 1871)
  • Molière et Bourdaloue (1877)
  • Oeuvres poetiques (1878)
  • Correspondance (7 vols. 1884; 1885; 1887; 1892)
  • Etudes sur Victor Hugo (1886)
  • Cara (1906; posthumous poems)

Works in English translation


Veuillot's study
  • It is easy to see where North America stands at present, and whither it is tending. Its rapid progress, due to the most degrading works, has fascinated Europe; but the results of this progress, exclusively material, already appear. Barbarism, profligacy, general bankruptcy, systematic destruction of the native races, idiotic slavery of the conquerors, bound to the most trying and repulsive of lives under the yoke of their own machinery. America might founder in the ocean once for all, and the human race would suffer no loss thereby. Not a saint, not an artist, not a thinker has it produced, unless one may term thought the aptitude for twisting iron for the construction of freight trains. The priests who wear out their lives there cannot create a civilization. Thus far there is no civilization in America, and as far as appearances go, there never will be. (L'Univers)
  • Newspapers have become such a danger that it is necessary to create many. You cannot contend against the Press, except through its multitude. Add flood to flood, and let them drown one another, forming no more than a swamp, or, if you will, a sea. The swamp has its lagoons, the sea its moments of slumber. We will see whether it is possible to build some Venice within it.
  • When I voted, my equality tumbled into the box with my ballot; they disappeared together.
  • If I could re-establish a class of nobles, I should do so at once, and I would not belong to it.
  • Amongst the amusements of Paris must be counted duels between journalists.
  • Since 1789, France has had only one King, Paris.[11]


See also



  1. "The Jesuits in France" (PDF). The New York Times. August 16, 1875. p. 4. In Paris M. Louis Veuillot has given us another shameful specimen of Ultramontanism. Not satisfied with comparing savants to the phylloxera, he likens Protestantism to a loathsome disease whose name is usually confined to medical works.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  1. Murray 1873, 192–93.
  2. O'Connor 1913, 618.
  3. O'Connor 1913, 619.
  4. MacCaffrey 1905a, 432.
  5. "The Greater Excommunication, The Emperor and the Pope," The New York Times, April 20, 1860.
  6. "The Clerical Press and Marshall Serrano," The New York Times, September 24, 1874.
  7. Arnold, Matthew (1960). "England and the Italian Question". In R.H., Super (ed.). On the Classical Tradition. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. p. 89.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Hanotaux, Gabriel (1905). Contemporary France. 2. London: Archibald Constable & Co. p. 622.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Wright, C.H. Conrad (1912). A History of French Literature. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 781.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. La Varende, Jean de (1939). Centaur of God. London: Methuen & Co. p. 44.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Brogan 1949, 74.


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  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. Missing or empty |title= (help)CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  •  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainTavernier, Eugène (1913). [https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikisource.org%2Fwiki%2FCatholic_Encyclopedia_%281913%29%2FLouis_Veuillot "Louis Veuillot" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • Bellessort, André (1920). Études et Figures: Variétés Littéraires. Paris: Bloud & Gay.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Biré, Edmond (1900). "La Jeunesse de Louis Veuillot". Etudes d'Histoire et de Littérature. Lyon: Emmanuel Vitte. pp. 241–60.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Cornut, Etienne (1891). Louis Veuillot. Paris: Victor Retaux et Fils.
  • Christophe, Lucien (1967). Louis Veuillot. Paris: Wesmael-Charlier.
  • Dimier, Louis (1917). Les Maîtres de la Contre-Révolution au 19e Siècle. Paris: Nouvelle Librairie Nationale.
  • Fernessole, Pierre (1923). Les Origines Littéraires de Louis Veuillot, 1813-1843. Paris: J. de Gigord.
  • Follioley, Léopold (1901). "Louis Veuillot Journaliste". La Quinzaine. XLII: 186–214.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Foucart, Claude (1978). L'Aspect Méconnu d'un Grand Lutteur. Atelier National de Reproduction des Thèses, Université de Lille III.
  • Gough, Austin (1996). Paris et Rome. Les Catholiques Français et le Pape au XIXe Siècle. Paris: Éditions de l'Atelier.
  • Lasserre, Pierre (1914). "Louis Veuillot". L'Action Française (11): 3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Laurioz, Pierre-Yves (2005). Louis Veuillot: Soldat de Dieu. Éd. de Paris, 2005.
  • Le Roux, Benoît (1984). Louis Veuillot: Un Homme, un Combat. Paris: Téqui, 1984.
  • Longhaye, R.P.G. (1906). Dix-neuvième Siècle: Esquisses Littéraires et Morales. 4. Paris: Victor Retaux.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Mirecourt, Eugène de (1856). Louis Veuillot. Paris: Gustave Havard.
  • Narfon, Julien de (1914). "Le Centenaire de Louis Veuillot". La Revue de Paris. I (NS): 80–100.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Pierrard, Pierre (1998). Louis Veuillot. Paris: Éditions Beauchesne.
  • Pontmartin, Armand de (1864). "M. Louis Veuillot". Dernières Semaines Littéraires. Paris: Michel Lévy. pp. 42–63.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Pontmartin, Armand de (1874). "M. Louis Veuillot". Nouvelles Causeries Littéraires. Paris: Calmann Lévy. pp. 174–88.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Pontmartin, Armand de (1875). "M. Louis Veuillot". Nouveaux Samedis. 11. Paris: Michel Lévy. pp. 334–48.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Pontmartin, Armand de (1878). "M. Louis Veuillot". Nouveaux Samedis. 16. Paris: Calmann Lévy. pp. 176–93.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Pontmartin, Armand de (1884). "Louis Veuillot". Souvenirs d'un Vieux Critique. 5. Paris: Calmann Lévy. pp. 83–98.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Pontmartin, Armand de (1888). "Correspondance de Louis Veuillot". Souvenirs d'un Vieux Critique. 9. Paris: Calmann Lévy. pp. 309–22.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Pontmartin, Armand de (1889). "Correspondance de Louis Veuillot". Souvenirs d'un Vieux Critique. 10. Paris: Calmann Lévy. pp. 163–70.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Preuss, Arthur (1914). "The Veuillot Centenary," The Fortnightly Review 21, pp. 3–4.
  • Preuss, Arthur (1902). "A Fighting Editor," Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, The Review 9, pp. 535–537, 546–548, 564–567, 582–585, 598–601, 616–618.
  • Tavernier, Eugène (1913). Louis Veuillot; l'Homme, le Lutteur, l'Écrivain. Paris: Plon.
  • Veuillot, Eugène (1904). Louis Veuillot, Tome II, Tome III. Paris: Victor Retaux.

External links