Gerard de Nerval (May 22, 1808 – January 26, 1855) was the nom-de-plume of the French writer, poet, essayist and translator Gerard Labrunie, one of the most essentially Romantic of French poets.
His life and several of his works were influenced by his infatuation for an actress named Jenny Colon who died in 1842. His works are notable for the author's charming personality and intelligence, his poetic vision and precision of form. His friend and fellow writer Théophile Gautier wrote a touching reminiscence of him in 1867 ("La Vie de Gérard") which was included in Gautier's Portraits et Souvenirs Litéraires, published posthumously in 1875.
Two years after his birth in Paris, Nerval's mother died in Silesia while accompanying her husband, a military doctor and member of Napoleon's Grande Armée. He was brought up by his maternal great-uncle, Antoine Boucher, in the countryside of Valois at Mortefontaine. On the return of his father from war in 1814, Nerval was sent back to Paris. He frequently returned to the countryside of Valois during holidays, and he returned to it in imagination later in his Chansons et légendes du Valois...
Quotes by Gerard De Nerval
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