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L'Abbé Prévost

L'Abbé Prévost

*  1697 Pas de Calais
† 1763 Chantilly

The French writer L'Abbé Prévost, whose real name was Antoine-François Prévost, was born in Hesdin, Pas-de-Calais on April 1th, 1697 as the second son of a wealthy judge from the bourgeoisie. He was 14 years old when he lost his mother and his younger sister. As a soldier Prévost took part in the War of the Spanish Succession and stayed in the army until 1713, shortly before the end of the war. For his last year at school he attended the Collège d'Harcourt in Paris before becoming a novice in the Jesuit Order. After 1718 Prévost was aspiring to become an officer, but he deserted in the same year and decided to flee to the Benedictine Order in 1720. He started studying theology, had his ordination as a priest and delivered sermons. In the Paris monastery Saint-German-des-Prés Prévost helped creating the historiographic multi-volume Benedictine work "Gallia christiana". During this time he wrote the novel "Mémoires et Aventures d'un homme de qualité qui s'est retiré du monde", the first two volumes of which were published in 1728. In London Prévost worked as a private teacher and converted to Anglicanism. In the Netherlands he pulished volumes V and VI of "Mémoires" and volume VII "L'Histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut". Further publications were four volumes of the novel "Histoire de Cleveland, fils naturel de Cromwell" in Utrecht in 1731 and the memoires of the "Anti-Richelieu conspirator Fran François de Thou" in 1733. In London, he worked on his magazine "Le Pour et le Contre" that was published in Paris. In 1735 he wrote the novel "Le Doyen de Killérine" and in 1737 and 1738 the last volumes of "Cleveland". The artist died in Courteuil near the small French town of Chantilly in the department Oise on 23 November 1763.