The New Student's Reference Work/Sainte-Beuve, Charles Augustin

The New Student's Reference Work (1914)
Sainte-Beuve, Charles Augustin


Sainte-Beuve (sănt′-bẽv′), Charles Augustin, the greatest literary critic of modern times, was born at Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, in 1804.  His father died before his birth, and his mother had a hard struggle to find means to give her son a schooling.  At 14 Charles went to Charlemagne College at Paris, and afterward studied medicine.  In 1824 he began his literary career by becoming a regular contributor of Le Globe, a paper started in that year by one of his college professors.  A review of Victor Hugo’s Odes and Ballads made him a lifelong friend of that poet.  His best work as a critic began in 1840, when he was made keeper of Mazarin Library.  In 1849 he began to write, for Le Constitutionel, an article on some literary subject every Monday, and this was his work for 20 years.  These Monday Talks fill 28 volumes, and on them his fame chiefly rests.  Sainte-Beuve died at Paris, Oct. 13, 1869.