Michel Zevaco (also written as Zévaco) (1860-1918) was a French journalist, novelist, publisher, film director, and anti-clerical as well as anarchist activist.
Michel Zevaco founded the anarchist weekly magazine Gueux (French, Beggars) on March 27, 1892. A month later he was jailed for 6 months and fined for praising Pini and Ravachol. Afterwards he wrote for Sébastien Faure's journal, Libertaire, as well as for the anarchist newspaper La Renaissance. In 1898, he edited l'Anticlérical, for the Anticlerical League of France and was involved in supporting Alfred Dreyfus during the eponymous Dreyfus Affair.
Zevaco's famous cloak and dagger novels Les Pardaillan, began to be serialized in the daily newspapers in 1900 to great popular success. Yet he is today quite unknown, in spite of the new interest aroused by popular literature.
A former school teacher, then an officer, he became a militant journalist, who wrote for various revolutionary newspapers, of anarchist tendency. He became famous mainly for the part he played in the anti-clerical struggles at the end of the 19th century. Then, as a writer of serial novels, he published works which had a great success in Jean Jaurès' daily La Petite République, and he became appointed serial writer for Le Matin from 1906 to his death.
His already well-established popularity was made even greater by his promising beginnings as a film-director in 1917. His novels first published by Fayard and Tallandier were republished several times and adapted for the screen; the latest paperback edition only gives a mutilated version, and is impaired by many cuts.
He is remembered as the author of Les Pardaillan, Le Capitan, Borgia, Buridan, L'Héroïne, l'Hôtel Saint Pol and Nostradamus, his most famous historical novels, but also published novels related to his times. Some of his serials have not yet been published.
Categories: 1860 births | 1918 deaths | French novelists | French journalists | French anarchists | Historical novelists