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born Jules Sébastien César DUMONT D'URVILLE

French explorer and naval officer

Source :  Emmanuel HAMEL

Born: on May 23, 1790 in Condé-sur-Noireau, France
Died: on May 08, 1842 in Meudon, France


Dumont's father Gabriel Charles François Dumont d’Urville and Bailiff of Condé-sur-Noireau (1728 - 1796) was, like his ancestors, responsible for the court of Condé. His mother Jeanne Françoise Victoire Julie (1754 - 1832) came from Croisilles, Calvados and was a rigid and formal woman coming from an ancient family of the rural nobility of Basse-Normandie. He was weak and often sickly. After the death of his father when he was six, his mother’s brother, the Abbot of Croisilles, played the part of his father and from 1798 was in charge of his education. The Abbot taught him Latin, Greek, rhetoric and philosophy. From 1804 Dumont studied at the lycée Impérial in Caen. In Caen’s library he began to read the encyclopédists and the reports of travel of Bougainville, Cook and Anson, and he became deeply passionate about these matters. At the age of 17 years he failed the physical tests of the entrance exam to the École Polytechnique and he therefore decided to enlist in the navy.

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