François Joseph Noizet

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François Joseph Noizet (19 January 1792 – 30 April 1885) was a French general and man of letters, known for his work on animal magnetism.


Alongside his military career (second lieutenant at the Engineering School in 1810, lieutenant-colonel in 1837, colonel in 1840, marshal of camp on December 28, 1846 and general of division on December 22, 1851, Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor on December 24, 1856), he is known to occultists as the most immediate disciple of Abbé Faria, who was himself a student of Franz Mesmer. He was also a student of André-Marie Ampère. His close friend was a young magnetizer, Alexandre Bertrand, whose Traité du somnambulisme (1823) is the first systematic scientific study of the phenomena of animal magnetism. Between the extreme and mutually exclusive doctrines of his master and his friend, Noizet traced a median path of his own involving both the imagination and the magnetic fluid.

Retired in Charleville, he pronounced on August 7, 1869 a speech of distribution of the Prizes to which Arthur Rimbaud, laureate then in his fifteenth year, attended. According to his fellow student Delahaye, the "general's house" mentioned in the poem "Enfance" (Illuminations) was the one of the general Noizet, who was then nearly 80 years old and on vacations in the South of France, house located on the road to Flanders, near Charleville.

He died at Charleville-Mézières, in the Ardennes department.


  • Mémoire sur le Somnambulisme et le Magnétisme Animal (1854)
  • Principes de Fortification (1859)
  • Le Dualisme, ou la Métaphysique Déduite de l'Observation (1872)
  • Mélanges de Philosophie Critique (1873)

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