Boulanger, Georges

BORN 29 Apr 1837, Rennes, Ille-et-Vilaine - DIED 30 Sep 1891, Brussel: Ixelles Cimetière
BIRTH NAME Boulanger, Georges Ernest Jean Marie
CAUSE OF DEATH suicide by gunshot
GRAVE LOCATION Brussel: Ixelles Cimetière (Avenue 3)

Georges Boulanger graduated at the Saint-Cyr Military Academy and joined the army in 1856. He served in Italy, Algeria and Indochina. He was also with Bazaine in Metz in 1870, but he escaped and helped with the defense of Paris against the Germans. Boulanger commanded the French army in Tunis in 1884-1885.

He was a protegee of Clemenceau and in 1886 he became minister of war under Freycinet. He soon became popular because his reforms benifited the army and his wish for revenge against Germany was shared by a lot of people. Many saw him as a potential dictator who would one day lead that revenge. In 1887 he lost his post and after he attacked his successor in 1888 he was placed on the retired list. In July 1888 he fought a duel with Floquet (the president of the Conseil and an opponent of Boulanger) after insulting him. He lost the duel against the elderly man.

The Bonapartists supported Boulanger and in 1889 he overwhelmingly won local elections in Paris. He was asked to lead a coupe d'état, but he failed to act, possibly because his mistress Marguerite de Bonnemains urged him not to do it. Soon a warrant for his arrest was issued and to the surprise of his supporters on April 1st he first fled to Brussels and then to England. His popularity diminished quickly and his followers lost the general elections of July 1889.

He went to live in Jersey with Marguerite. But she was ill and she returned to Paris. After Boulanger was allowed to live in Belgium she joined him there and she died in his arms in July 1891. Two months later he went to her grave at Ixelles Cemetery in Brussels. There he committed suicide by shooting himself a bullet in the head in front of her grave.

Related persons
• was the lover of Bonnemains, Marguerite, Vicomtesse de
• was the lover of Courrière, Berthe de


General Boulanger committed suicide at the grave of his beloved Marguerite Bonnemains at the cemetery of Ixelles, Brussels. He was buried beside her.
Picture by Androom (15 Aug 1994)


The tombstone of General Boulanger and his beloved Marguerite Bonnemains at Ixelles Cimetière, Brussels.
Picture by Androom (15 Aug 1994)


De Complete Encyclopedie, Lekturama
• Ros, Martin, Bloednacht Mayerling, Hadewijch, Antwerpen, 1989

Boulanger, Lili

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 20 May 2022