Lamartine 1790 - 1869 (79)

To love for the sake of being loved is human, but to love for the sake of loving is angelic.


The Lake

Alphonse de Lamartine was a French poet, novelist, historian and politician. He was born on October 21, 1790, in a wealthy family; his father was an aristocrat who had been imprisoned during the French Revolution. Alfonse attended a religious college, from a young age he had a lively imagination and an intensely emotional and romantic nature. In 1811-1812 he traveled to Italy for health reasons, where he fell in love with a poor girl in a fishing village, whom he later immortalized in his novel "Graziela". In 1816, during a holiday on the shores of Lake Bourget, he became associated with a married woman; she was ill and died, Lamartine wrote the poem "Lake" to her memory. With that poem and his first collection he became famous; It was published in 1820 and gave a new breath to romantic poetry, offering a more tender and musical dimension. In the same year he married a rich Englishwoman and joined the diplomatic corps.

In 1824 he was appointed secretary of the French embassy in Florence and in 1829 he became a member of the French Academy. In 1833 he was elected member of parliament; in 1834 he traveled to Greece, Turkey, Syria, Palestine and Lebanon; during this tour his ten-year-old daughter fell ill and died. In 1848 he became Prime Minister of France for a few weeks. Lamartine had democratic ideas and he took part in the revolution of 1848; He had a big fortune but he spent it all, as well with his wife’s money. In his last years he was poor and he collaborated with newspapers and magazines in order to make a living. He died on February 28, 1869.