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AUTRAN, JOSEPH (1813-1877), French poet, was born at Marseilles on the 20th of June 1813. In 1832 he addressed an ode to Lamartine, who was then at Marseilles on his way to the East. The elder poet persuaded the young man's father to allow him to follow his poetic bent, and Autran remained from that time a faithful disciple of Lamartine. His best known work is La Mer (1835), remodelled in 1852 as Les Poèmes de la mer. Ludibria ventis (1838) followed, and the success of these two volumes gained for Autran the librarianship of his native town. His other most important work is his Vie rurale (1856), a series of pictures of peasant life. The Algerian campaigns inspired him with verses in honour of the common soldier. Milianah (1842) describes the heroic defence of that town, and in the same vein is his Laboureurs et soldats (1854). Among his other works are the Paroles de Salomon (1868), Épîtres rustiques (1861), Sonnets capricieux, and a tragedy played with great success at the Odéon in 1848, La Fille d'Eschyle. A definitive edition of his works was brought out between 1875 and 1881. He became a member of the French Academy in 1868, and died at Marseilles on the 6th of March 1877.
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