Pierre Benoit (novelist)

Pierre Benoit (16 July 1886 - 3 March 1962) was a French novelist, screenwriter and member of the Académie française.[1] He is perhaps most known for his second novel L'Atlantide (1919) that has been filmed a variety of times.


Pierre Benoit, born in Albi (southern France) was the son of a French soldier. Benoit spent his early years and military service in Northern Africa, before becoming a civil servant and librarian.[2] In 1914 he published his first book of poems, then entered the French army and was demobilised after being hospitalised after the Battle of Charleroi.

His first novel, Koenigsmark, was published in 1918; L'Atlantide was published the next year and was awarded the Grand Prize of the Académie française.[2] Benoit became a member of the Académie in 1931.[2]

In 1923 Benoit was sent to Turkey as a journalist of Le Journal and later visited other nations[3].

A political right-winger, Benoit was an admirer of Maurice Barrès and Charles Maurras.[2] During the Nazi Occupation of France, Benoît joined the "Groupe Collaboration", a pro-Nazi arts group whose other members included Abel Bonnard, Georges Claude and Pierre Drieu La Rochelle.[4] This led him to be arrested in September 1944; he was eventually released after six months, but his work remained on the "blacklist" of French Nazi collaborators for several years afterwards.[2]

He attempted to resign from the Académie Française in 1959 in protest over their refusal to accept the writer Paul Morand after his application was vetoed by General Charles DeGaulle.

Late in his life, Benoit gave a series of interviews with the French writer Paul Guimard.[2]

He died in March 1962 in Ciboure.

Style of novels

Each of Benoi's novels consist of exactly 227 pages and have the heroine's name begin with the letter "A"[5].


  • Koenigsmark (1918)
  • L'Atlantide (1919; transl. as Atlantida, 1920)
  • La Chaussée des Géants (The Giant's Causeway) (1922)
  • L'Oublié (The Forgotten Man) (1922)
  • Mademoiselle de La Ferté (1923)
  • La Châtelaine du Liban (fr) (Lebanon's Lady of the Manor) (1924)
  • Le Puits de Jacob (Jacob's Well) (1925)
  • Alberte (1926)
  • Le Roi Lépreux (The Leper King) (2016)
  • Axelle (1928)
  • Le Soleil de Minuit (The Midnight Sun) (1930)
  • Boissière (1935)
  • La Dame de l'Ouest (1936)
  • L'Homme qui était trop grand (The Man Who Was Too Tall) (1936)
  • Les Compagnons d'Ulysse (1937)
  • Bethsabée (1938)
  • Les Environs d'Aden (1940)
  • Lunegarde (Moonkeep) (1942)
  • L'Oiseau des Ruines (Bird of the Ruins) (1947)
  • Aïno (1948)
  • Les Agriates (1950)
  • La Sainte Vehme (The Holy Vehme) (1954), illustrated by Jean Dries
  • Villeperdue (Lost City) (1954)
  • Montsalvat (1999)




  1. French Twentieth Bibliography: Critical and Bibliographical William J. Thompson - 2001... - Page 17210 "Maltère, Stéphane: "Le monde littéraire antique dans L'Atlantide de Pierre Benoit, " Cahiers des Amis de Poirre Boneit Frenchaises, no. 10 (1999), 21-30. [BNF] X1361. Monestier, Louis: "Histoire de l'association des 'Amis de Pierre Benoit'. Première partie ..."
  2. Hugo Frey, "Afterword" to The Queen of Atlantis, Bison Books, ISBN 0803269161, (p.289-312)
  3. p.74 Flower, John Historical Dictionary of French Literature Scarecrow Press, 17 Jan 2013
  4. Karen Fiss, Grand Illusion: The Third Reich, the Paris Exposition, and the Cultural Seduction of France. University of Chicago Press, 2009 ISBN 0226252019, (p.201)
  5. p. 33 Taylor, Karen L. The Facts on File Companion to the French Novel Infobase Publishing, 2006
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