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French Eugène LABICHE

born Eugène Marin LABICHE

French dramatist

Source :  Christine GUIOT

Born: on May 06, 1815 in Paris, France
Died: on January 22, 1888 in Paris, France


Labiche was born into a bourgeois family and studied law. At the age of twenty, he contributed a short story to Chérubin magazine, entitled Les plus belles sont les plus fausses. A few others followed , but failed to catch the attention of the public. He tried his hand at dramatic criticism in the Revue des théâtres and in 1838, wrote and premiered two plays.

The small Théâtre du Pantheon produced, to some popular success, his drama L'Avocat Loubet, while a vaudeville, Monsieur de Coyllin ou l'homme infiniment poli (written in collaboration with Marc Michel and performed at the Palais Royal) introduced a provincial actor who was to become and to remain a great Parisian favourite, Grassot, the famous comedian.

In the same year Labiche, still doubtful about his true vocation, published a romance called La Clé des champs. According to Leon Halévy, Labiche's publisher went bankrupt soon after the novel was out: "A lucky misadventure, for this timely warning of Destiny sent him back to the stage, where a career of success was awaiting him." There was yet another obstacle in the way. When he married, Labiche solemnly promised his wife's parents that he would renounce a profession then considered incompatible with moral regularity and domestic happiness. A year later, his wife released him from his vow, and Labiche recalled the incident when he dedicated the first edition of his complete works to her.

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