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Alfred Louis Charles de Musset-Pathay 1810 - 1857

Alfred de Musset was born in Paris to an impoverished upper class family. His mother was a society hostess who received many literary figures; and his father was a moderately ranking government official who published a biography of Jean-Jacques Rousseau in 1821.

As a boy, de Musset revelled in acting roles in brief plays of his own composition. He was educated at Lycee Henri IV from the age of nine until leaving at age seventeen having won the Concours general prize in Latin. He attempted several, to him, distasteful professions each of which he abandoned before, finally, choosing a literary career. He published his first poetry collection in 1829 but, meanwhile, held the post of librarian in the Ministry of Interior during the Louis Phillipe monarchy from 1830 to 1848 and again as librarian at the Ministry of Public Instruction from 1853. A second collection, Poesies Nouvelles, containing his most notable poems, was published in 1852.

A romantic attachment to George Sand from 1833 to 1835 ended unhappily and, in 1837, his brief engagement to Aimée d'Alton also failed.

His works embraced several plays and romances and he was widely regarded as a leading writer of the Romantic era. He was awarded the Legion d'Honneur in 1845 and elected to the Academie Francaise in 1852.

He died in Paris of an aortic disorder aggravated by alcoholism having been confined by ill health to his apartment for the last two years of his life. His brother, Paul, published a biography of Alfred in 1877.