Jean De La Fontaine

(1621 - 1695 / Champagne / France)

Jean De La Fontaine
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Jean de La Fontaine was born in Chateau-Thierry, Champagne, in central France, the son of a government official. He went to Paris to study medicine and theology, but was drawn to the whirls of social life.

La Fontaine qualified as a lawyer but he returned home in 1647 and assisted his father, a superintendent of forests. He held a number of government posts, but they did not pay much money. In 1647 he married Marie Héricart, an heiress, but the marriage was unhappy and they separated in 1658.

La Fontaine had decided to become a famous writer. In 1658 he left his family and moved to Paris, where he lived his most productive years, devoting himself to writing. ... more »

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Best Poem of Jean De La Fontaine

The Avaricious Wife And Tricking Gallant

WHO knows the world will never feel surprise,
When men are duped by artful women's eves;
Though death his weapon freely will unfold;
Love's pranks, we find, are ever ruled by gold.
To vain coquettes I doubtless here allude;
But spite of arts with which they're oft endued;
I hope to show (our honour to maintain,)
We can, among a hundred of the train,
Catch one at least, and play some cunning trick:--
For instance, take blithe Gulphar's wily nick,
Who gained (old soldier-like) his ardent aim,
And gratis got an avaricious dame.

LOOK well at this, ye heroes ...

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