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The Immortal by Alphonse Daudet

Produced by David Widger



By Alphonse Daudet,

Translated From The French By A. W. Verrall And Margaret D. G. Verrall

Rand, McNally & Company, Publishers - 1889



In the 1880 edition of Men of the Day, under the heading _Astier-Rehu_, may be read the following notice:--

Astier, commonly called Astier-Rehu (Pierre Alexandre Leonard), Member of the Academie Francaise, was born in 1816 at Sauvagnat (Puy-de-Dome). His parents belonged to the class of small farmers. He displayed from his earliest years a remarkable aptitude for the study of history. His education, begun at Riom and continued at Louis-le-Grand, where he was afterwards to re-appear as professor, was more sound than is now fashionable, and secured his admission to the Ecole Normale Superieure, from which he went to the Chair of History at the Lycee of Mende. It was here that he wrote the Essay on Marcus Aurelius, crowned by the Academie Francaise. Called to Paris the following year by M. de Salvandy, the young and brilliant professor showed his sense of the discerning favour extended to him by publishing, in rapid succession, The Great Ministers of Louis XIV. (crowned by the Academie Francaise), Bonaparte and the Concordat (crowned by the Academie Francaise), and the admirable Introduction to the History of the House of Orleans, a magnificent prologue to the work which was to occupy twenty years of his life. This time the Academie, having no more crowns to offer him, gave him a seat among its members. He could scarcely be called a stranger there, having married Mlle. Rehu, daughter of the lamented Paulin Rehu, the celebrated architect, member of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, and granddaughter of the highly respected Jean Rehu, the father of the Academie Francaise, the elegant translator of Ovid and author of the Letters to Urania, whose hale old age is the miracle of the Institute. By his friend and colleague M. Thiers Leonard Astier-Rehu was called to the post of Keeper of the Archives of Foreign Affairs. It is well known that, with a noble disregard of his interests, he resigned, some years later (1878), rather than that the impartial pen of history should stoop to the demands of our present rulers. But deprived of his beloved archives, the author has turned his leisure to good account. In two years he has given us the last three volumes of his history, and announces shortly New Lights on Galileo, based upon documents extremely curious and absolutely unpublished. All the works of Astier-Rehu may be had of Petit-Sequard, Bookseller to the Academie.

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