Gautier de Costes de La Calprenède

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Gautier de Costes, sieur de La Calprenède (* between 1609 and 1614, often mentioned 1610 , Château de Tolgou near Sarlat , † October 15, 1663 in Le Grand-Andely ) was a French writer .


La Calprenède (as he is called in literary history) came to Paris in 1632 after completing school in Cahors and studying law in Toulouse , where he entered the royal guard regiment as a cadet, but was also active in literature. Thanks to his talent as an imaginative storyteller, the Queen succeeded in attracting the attention of the Queen, and he was given the position of "gentilhomme du Roi", which is more important than service.

The novels, tragedies and tragicomedies that he initially wrote received little attention. Around 1640 he switched to multi-volume (pseudo-) historical novels that can be assigned to the contemporary category of the heroic-gallant novel: Cassandre (1642 ff.), Cléopâtre (1647 ff.) And Pharamond (1661 ff.). Thanks in particular to Cléopâtre , La Calprenède became one of the most widely read French, if not European, authors of the mid-century.

As usual in the heroic-gallant novel, the historical names and facts are only a kind of pretext for the representation of circumstances, customs and personalities of one's own time. The language and style are shaped by the idioms of the elegant salons of the era and already appeared in the following generation, e. B. Boileau , as affected.

Works (selection)


  • Cassandre , 10 volumes, 1642-1650
  • Cléopâtre , 12 volumes, 1647–58
  • Pharamond , 7 volumes, 1661 ff.
  • Les nouvelles, ou les divertissements de la princesse Alcidiane , 1661 (published under his wife's name but commonly attributed to him)


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