Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Gervais Delarue

DELARUE, Gervais (1751–1835), a French historical investigator, and one of the chief authorities on Norman and Anglo-Norman literature. He was a native of Caen, received his education at the university of that town, and was ultimately raised to the rank of professor. His first historical enterprize was interrupted by the French Revolution, which forced him to take refuge in England; but the interruption was the less to be regretted as he found the fullest encouragement from his northern compeers, and had the opportunity of examining a vast mass of original documents in the Tower and elsewhere, which proved of the utmost assistance to his investigations. In the preface to the second volume of his greatest work—the Essais historiques—he speaks feelingly of the kindness he had experienced, and mentions his supreme gratification at receiving the approval of Sir Walter Scott. From England he passed over to Holland, still in prosecution of his favourite task; and there he remained till 1798, when the way was open for his return to France. The rest of his life was spent in his native town, where he was chosen principal of his university. While in England he had been elected a member of the Royal Society of Antiquaries; and in his own country he was made a corresponding member of the Institute, and was enrolled in the Legion of Honour.

Besides numerous articles in the Memoirs of the Royal Society of London, the Mémoires de l'Institut, the Mémoires de la Société d'Agriculture de Caen, and in other periodical collections, he published separately Essais historiques sur les Bardes, les Jongleurs, et les Trouvères normands et anglo-normands, 3 vols. 1834, and Recherches historiques sur la Prairie de Caen, 1837, and since his death have appeared Mémoires historiques sur le palinod de Caen, 1841; Recherches sur la tapisserie de Bayeux, 1841; and Nouveaux Essais historiques sur la ville de Caen, 1842. In all his writings he displays a strong partiality for everything Norman, and rates the Norman influence on French and English literature as of the very highest moment.