Prosper Mérimée

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Prosper Mrime

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Prosper Mérimée
Prosper Mrime

Prosper Mrime (September 28, 1803–September 23, 1870) was a French dramatist, historian, archaeologist, and short story writer. One of his stories was the basis of the opera Carmen.

Prosper Mrime was born in Paris, France. He studied law as well as Greek, Spanish, English, and Russian. He was the first interpreter of much Russian literature in France.

Mrime loved mysticism, history, and the unusual, and was influenced by the historical fiction popularised by Sir Walter Scott and the cruelty and psychological drama of Aleksandr Pushkin. Many of his stories are mysteries set in foreign places, Spain and Russia being popular sources of inspiration.

In 1834, Mrime was appointed to the post of inspector-general of historical monuments. He was a born archaeologist, combining linguistic faculty of a very unusual kind with accurate scholarship, with remarkable historical appreciation, and with a sincere love for the arts of design and construction, in the former of which he had some practical skill. In his official capacity he published numerous reports, some of which, with other similar pieces, have been republished in his works.

Mrime met and befriended the Countess of Montijo in Spain in 1830. When her daughter became the Empress Eugnie of France in 1853 he was made a senator.

Prosper Mrime died in Cannes, France and was interred there in the Cimetire du Grand Jas.


  • Cromwell (1822) - his first play. It was never published and no copies exist. Mrime felt its similarities with contemporary French politics were too obvious and he destroyed the manuscript.
  • Le Thtre de Clara Gazul (1825) - a hoax, supposedly a translation by one Joseph L'Estrange of work written by a Spanish actress.
  • La Guzla (1827) - another hoax, ballads about various mystical themes proportedly translated from the original Illyrian by one Hyacinthe Maglanowich.
  • La Jacquerie (1828) - dramatic scenes about a peasant insurrection in feudal times.
  • La Chronique du temps de Charles IX (1829) - a novel about French court life at the time of the St. Bartholomew massacres (1572).
  • Mateo Falcone (1829) - a short story about a Corsican man who must kill his son in the name of justice (made into an opera of the same name by the Russian composer Csar Cui)
  • Mosaque (1833) - a collection of short stories, containing the following: Mateo Falcone, Vision de Charles XI, L'enlvement de la redoute, Tamango, Le fusil enchant, Federigo, Ballades, La partie de trictrac, Le vase trusque, Les mcontens. It also includes three of his letters from Spain. Most of these tales were previously published in the Revue de Paris in 1829 and 1830.
  • Les mes du Purgatoire (1834) - a novella about the libertine Dom Juan Maraa.
  • La Vnus d'Ille (1837) - a fantastic horror tale of a bronze statue that seemingly comes to life.
  • Notes de voyages (1835-40) - describing his travels through Greece, Spain, Turkey, and France.
  • Colomba (1840) - his first famous novella, about a young Corsican girl who forces her brother to commit murder for the sake of a vendetta.
  • Carmen (1845) - another famous novella describing an unfaithful gypsy girl who is killed by the soldier who loves her (made into an opera by Georges Bizet in 1875).
  • Lokis (1869) - set in Eastern Europe, it is the horror story of a man who, it would seem, is half bear and half man and enjoys feasting on human flesh.
  • La Chambre bleue (1872) - a farce that has all the trappings of a supernatural tale but in the end turns out to be anything but...
  • Lettres une inconnue (1874) - a collection of letters from Mrime to Jenny Dacquin, published after his death.

This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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Mateo Falcone

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