Henri de Bornier
He came to Paris in 1845 with the object of studying law, but in that year he published a volume of verse, Les Premieres Feuilles, and the Comédie-Française accepted a play of his entitled Le Manage de Luther.
He was given a post in the library of the Arsenal, where he served for half a century, becoming director in 1889. In 1875 was produced at the Théâtre Français his heroic drama in verse, La Fille de Roland. The action of the play turns on the love of Gerald, son of the traitor Ganelon, for the daughter of Roland. The patriotic subject and the nobility of the character of Gerald, who renounces Berthe when he learns his real origin, procured for the piece a great success. The conflict between honor and love and the grandiose sentiment of the play inevitably provoked comparison with Corneille. The piece would indeed be a masterpiece if, as its critics were not slow to point out, the verse had been quite equal to the subject.
|French literary history|
Among the numerous other works of de Bornier should be mentioned: Dmitri (1876), libretto of an opera by Victorin de Joncières; and the dramas, Les Noces d'Attila (1880) and Mahomet (1888). The production of this last piece was forbidden in deference to the representations of the Turkish ambassador. Henri de Bornier was critic of the Nouvelle Revue from 1879 to 1887. His Poésies complètes were published in 1894. He died in January 1901.