Girardin, Émile de

BORN 22 Jun 1806, Paris: 4 rue Chabanais - DIED 27 Apr 1881, Paris
BIRTH NAME Delamothe, émile
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Cimetière de Montmartre, 20 Avenue Rachel (division 12)

Bastard son of General Alexandre de Girardin and of Madame Dupuy, who was the wife of a Parisian advocate. In 1827 he published his first novel "Émile", which dealt with his own birth and life. He started working as a journalist and initiated several publications of his own. His "Journal des connaissances" had 120.000 subscribers and his "Almanack de France" (1834) sold very well. In 1831 he had married Delphine Gay, herself a literary celebrity who wrote poetry, novels and plays.

His cheap conservative paper La Presse (started in 1836) resulted in several conflicts and in a duel he killed Armand Carrel, the editor of the paper National. De Girardin was a member of several parliaments (1834-1851) and switched sides often. He was strongly in favour of the election of Louis Napoleon, but later he was violently opposed to him. In later years he would also attack MacMahon. After the death of his first wife Delphine in 1855 he married Josephine Brunold, countess of Tieffenbach. He divorced her in 1872.

He sold La Presse in 1856 and restarted it in 1862, but the momentum had gone. Next he started the paper "La Liberté" (1866-1870). He was in favour of Napoleon III's liberal empire, but soon advocated the war against Prussia. For the Théâtre Français he wrote "Le supplice d’une femme" but Alexandre Dumas fils was called in to rewrite it. It was performed without revealing an author in 1865 and after it became a great success De Girardin and Dumas boh claimed credits. To prove his abilities De Girardin wrote "Les deux soeurs" (1865), but this play was a failure.

• Wife: Gay, Delphine (1831-1855)


The grave of Delphine Gay and Émile de Girardin at Montmartre Cimetière, Paris.
Picture by Androom (18 May 2005)


Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Émile de Girardin — Wikipédia

Giraudoux, Jean

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 29 Mar 2024