Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle (French: [fɔ̃tənɛl]; 11 February 1657 – 9 January 1757), also called Bernard Le Bouyer de Fontenelle, was a French author and an influential member of three of the academies of the Institut de France, noted especially for his accessible treatment of scientific topics during the unfolding of the Age of Enlightenment.
Fontenelle was born in Rouen, France (then the capital of Normandy) and died in Paris just one month before his 100th birthday. His mother was the sister of great French dramatists Pierre and Thomas Corneille. He trained in the law but gave up after one case, devoting his life to writing about philosophers and scientists, especially defending the Cartesian tradition.
He was educated at the college of the Jesuits, the Lycée Pierre Corneille (although it did not adopt the name of his uncle (Pierre Corneille) until 1873, about 200 years later). At the Lycée he showed a preference for literature and distinguished himself...
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