10 Classic French authors you must read

french culture

There are 10 must-read classic authors from France that you’ll be most inspired to read. These are the authors you want to make sure you don’t miss out on! First, let’s take a quick look at Honoré de Balzac, who lived from 1799-1850. Use a French pronunciation book to get a handle on the pronunciation of these names! La Comédie Humaine was Balzac’s first successful piece of work. This man was considered to be one of the primary founders of realism in literature. Samuel Beckett is the next one. Actually an Irishman, he was a Frenchman for his entire writing career and eventually made a permanent move to the country.

Cyrano de Bergerac was a French dramatist and famous dualist (every year there is still the “Botte de Cyrano” sword fencing competition) who lived in the 1600s in Bergerac, Dordogne.  There have been many works about him.  The most being the play “Cyrano de Bergerac” by Edmond Rostand .
Next on our list is Albert Camus, from the early 1900s. In 1957, this incredible novelist was awarded Nobel Prize for Literature!
Victor Hugo is famous for his play Les Misèrables and Notre-Dame de Paris (French pronunciation), or the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Alexandre Dumas is usually considered to be the most well read author in France when it comes to historical readings. He wrote the stories of The Three Musketeers, The Nutcracker, The Man in the Iron Mask, and The Count of Monte Cristo.
Gustave Flaubert is number 7 on our list of must-read French authors. Gustave Flaubert wrote Madame Bovary, his most well known piece of work. The French government didn’t care for it.
Among the beginnings of science fiction writing you will find Jules Verne, who wrote such pieces as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in 80 Days and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Obviously, these are not the titles in their French pronunciation, but you get the idea. Clearly, Jules Verne was the father of much work that gave life to many science fiction lovers around the world in the many years to come.
Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, more commonly recognized as Molière, was a famous playwright and known very well for his comedic pieces in France and many people loved his work. Émile François Zola is a well known Frenchman who was a naturalist writer after his family’s poverty led him to a career in writing. These 10 French authors should not be missed. You will enjoy their work as much of the French population has.

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