Jules Arsène Arnaud Claretie (December 3, 1840 - December 23, 1913), was a French literary figure and director of the Théâtre Français.
He was born at Limôges. After studying at the lycée Bonaparte in Paris, he became a journalist, achieving great success as dramatic critic to Le Figaro and to the Opinion nationale. He was a newspaper correspondent during the Franco-German War, and during the Commune acted as staff-officer in the National Guard. In 1885 he became director of the Théâtre Français, and from that time devoted his time chiefly to its administration until his death. During the battle for Octave Mirbeau's comedy Les affaires sont les affaires (Business is business), the Comité de Lecture is abolished, in October 1901, and Jules Claretie becomes the only responsible for choosing the modern plays to be performed.
He was elected a member of the Académie française in 1888, and took his seat in February 1889, being received by Ernest Renan. The long list of his works includes:
Several plays, some of which are based on novels of his own:
Claretie also wrote three operas for the music of Jules Massenet; La Navarraise (1894), based on his novel La Cigarette and written with Henri Cain, Thérèse (1907), and Amadis (1922), a work begun by Massenet in 1895, but shelved and finished in the last years of his life and premiered posthumously.