Gustave Aimard

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Gustave Aimard

Gustave Aimard (born September 13, 1818 in Paris ; † June 20, 1883 ibid) was a French author of adventure novels who, like the German Karl May or the Italian Emilio Salgari, significantly influenced the image of the Indians and the Wild West through his books .


Gustave Aimard grew up with foster parents in Paris and went to sea on the Goeland herring catcher at the age of nine . He came to America as a cabin boy . In 1835 he returned to Paris and began a career in the French Navy. During a stay in South America he deserted.

He led an adventurous life on the American continent for about ten years, got as far as Patagonia and also knew the Missouri River . In 1848 he reappeared in Paris and took part in the suppression of the June uprising. Aimard then returned to America and in 1852 joined the troops of Count Gaston de Raousset-Boulbon in San Francisco . After his defeat, he lived inland for two years before reappearing in Paris in January 1854.

On August 12, 1854, he married the operetta singer Adele Lucie Damoreau here. Aimard now began to process his rich experiences from the time of his stays in America in a literary way. In 1856 he published the story La Tour des Hiboux in the Journal pour Tous . In 1858 his first novel Les Trappeurs de l'Arkansas was published . By his death he published 78 novels and 31 short stories, most of which are set in America. His books found a large readership. At times he employed two co-authors to meet the demand for his books. 35 of his novels have been translated into German. After a rash undergoing psychiatric treatment, he died in the Saint-Anne clinic in Paris.

Works (selection)

Book cover of a German edition from 1889 of the
short story The Tracker ( Le Chercheur de pistes ), edited by Oskar Höcker .
  • The Trappers of Arkansas ( Les Trappeurs de l'Arkansas ), 1858
  • The Grand Toqui of the Araucans ( Le Grand chef des Aucas ), 1858
  • The tracker ( Le Chercheur de pistes ), 1858
  • The Gold Fever ( La Fièvre d'Or ), 1860
  • Free Ball ( Balle Franche ), 1861
  • The Bee Hunters ( Les Chasseurs d'Abeilles ), 1864
  • Rock Heart ( Le Cœur de pierre ), 1864
  • The Araucanian ( L'Araucan ), 1864


  • Jean Bastaire: Sur la piste de Gustave Aimard, trappeur quarante - huitard. Encrage, Amiens 2003. (= Travaux bis; 4) ISBN 2-251-74116-X
  • Rainer Sieverling: Gustave Aimard's adventure novels. A contribution to the history of French trivial literature in the 19th century. Univ. Diss., Freiburg im Breisgau 1982.
  • Heinrich Pleticha, Siegfried Augustin: Lexicon of adventure and travel literature from Africa to Winnetou. Edition Erdmann in K. Thienemanns Verlag, Stuttgart, Vienna, Bern 1999, ISBN 3 522 60002 9

Web links

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Wikisource: Gustave Aimard  - Sources and full texts