Alphonse de Châteaubriant

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Alphonse de Châteaubriant

Alphonse Van Bredenbeck de Châteaubriant (French pronunciation: ​[alfɔ̃s də ʃatobʁjɑ̃]; 25 March 1877 – 2 May 1951) was a French writer who won the Prix Goncourt in 1911 for his novel Monsieur de Lourdines and Grand prix du roman de l'Académie française for La Brière in 1923.

Biography

Châteaubriant's family came from Holland. The French branch of his family was descended from a respected Angevin bourgeoisie. Its founder, Gaspard Van Bredenbeck (1637-1687), naturalized French, traded it in refined sugar and molasses at Saumur in 1670, then in Angers in 1675. His widow acquired the land of Châteaubriant, in Sainte-Gemmes-sur-Loire, February 24, 1693.

After attending Clemenceau High School in Nantes, Châteaubriant studied at a military school in Saint-Cyr, but did not served in the military. He lived mostly between Piriac-sur-Mer, Nantes and Poitou.

In 1903, he married Marguerite-Eugénie-Thérèse Bachelot-Villeneuve. They had two sons, Guy and Robert. During World War I, his family moved to Versailles, while Châteaubriant served as a paramedic. He wrote letters to his wife and to his friend Romain Rolland that showed great distress. When peace finally arrived, he was convinced of the need for France to be reconciled with Germany in order to avoid a new war.

Political views

A Germanophile, a Catholic horrified by atheistic Communism, a supporter of order, but also a Dreyfusard, he was seduced by Hitler's National Socialism, seeing in it a return to the spirit of chivalry. In 1940 he founded the pro-German weekly newspaper La Gerbe and served as President of the Groupe Collaboration.[1] During World War II, he was a member of the central committee of the Légion des Volontaires Français contre le Bolchévisme, an organisation founded in 1941 by Fernand de Brinon and Jacques Doriot to recruit volunteers to fight alongside the Germans in Russia.

In 1945 he fled to Austria, where he lived under the alias Dr. Alfred Wolf until his death at a monastery in Kitzbühel.

Works

  • 1908 : Le Baron de Puydreau (novella)
  • 1909 : Monsieur de Buysse (novella)
  • 1911 : Monsieur des Lourdines (novel — Prix Goncourt; translated into English by Lady Theodora Davidson as The Keynote, 1912)
  • 1923 : La Brière (novel — Grand prix du roman de l'Académie française)
  • 1927 : La Meute
  • 1928 : Locronan
  • 1933 : La Réponse du Seigneur (novel)
  • 1935 : Au Pays de Brière
  • 1937 : La Gerbe des forces
  • 1937 : Le Bouquet Fané
  • 1938 : Les pas ont Chanté
  • 1951 : Lettre à la Chrétienté Mourante
  • 1953 : ...Des saisons et des jours... Journal de l'auteur, 1911-1924
  • 1987 : Procès Posthume d'un Visionnaire
  • 1992 : L'Acte Intérieur
  • 2004 : Fragments d'une confession – La Sainteté

References

  1. Littlejohn, David (1972). The Patriotic Traitors. London: Heinemann. p. 222. 

Further reading

  • Bily, Claude (2013). "Alphonse de Châteaubriant". La Nouvelle Revue d'Histoire (66): 26–28. 
  • Chadwick, Kay (2002). Alphonse de Châteaubriant: Catholic Collaborator. Oxford and New York: Peter Lang. ISBN 9783906766942. 
  • Epstein, Simon (2001). Les Dreyfusards sous l'Occupation. Paris: Albin Michel. 
  • Lasserre, Pierre (1911). "Alphonse de Châteaubriant". L'Action Française. IV (323): 3. 
  • Maugendre, Louis-Alphonse (1977). Alphonse de Chateaubriant 1877-1951. Paris: André Bonne. 
  • Maugendre, Louis-Alphonse, ed. (1983). L'un et l'Autre. Paris: Albin-Michel. 
  • Souday, Paul (1913). "Alphonse de Chateaubriant". Les Livres du Temps. 1. Paris: Émile-Paul. pp. 335–45. 

External links