1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Schelandre, Jean de

7164611911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 24 — Schelandre, Jean de

SCHELANDRE, JEAN DE (c. 1585–1635), Seigneur de Saumazènes, French poet, was born about 1585 near Verdun of a Calvinist family. He studied at the university of Paris and then joined Turenne’s army in Holland, where he gained rapid advancement. He was the author of a tragedy, Tyr et Sidon, ou les Junestes amours de Belcar et Méliane, published in 1608 under the anagram-name Daniel d’Anchères, and reprinted with numerous changes in 1628 under the author’s own name. In defiance of all rules the action proceeds alternately at Tyre, where Belcar, prince of Sidon, is a prisoner, and at Sidon where Léonte, prince of Tyre, is a prisoner and pursues his gallant adventures. The play, which was divided into two days and ten acts, had a complicated plot and contained 5000 lines. It required an immense stage on which the two towns should be represented, with a field between, where the contests should take place. It is noteworthy as an attempt to introduce the liberty of the Spanish and English drama into France, thus anticipating the romantic revolt of the 19th century. It has been suggested that Schelandre was directly acquainted with Shakespearian drama, but of this there is no direct proof, although he appears to have spent some time in England and to have seen James I. Tyr et Sidon is reprinted in the 8th volume of the Ancien Théâtre français. Schelandre was also the author of a Stuartide (1611), and of Les Sept Excellents Travaux de la pénitence de Saint Pierre (1636). He pursued his military career to the end of his life, dying at Saumazènes in 1635 from wounds received in the German campaign of Louis d’Épernon, Cardinal de la Valette.

See Ch. Asselineau, Jean de Schelandre (Paris, 1854).