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HENRI LAVEDAN (1859-1940)

The following biography was originally published in The Continental Drama of Today. Barrett H. Clark. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1914. p. 141.

Henri Lavedan, born of a middle-class but cultured family at Orléans in the year 1859, was more fortunate as to educational advantages than many of his contemporaries. He went to school at first in the neighborhood of Orléans, then at Paris, and was graduated soon after the close of the Franco-Prussian War, in 1871. He studied for the Law for a year, and then gave it up, feeling that he was not suited for the profession. He made his literary début with a number of clever and rather cynical dialogues, picturing for the most part the "flâneurs" -- idle club-men -- of Parisian society. His first play was One Family, produced at the Comédie Française in the early 1890s. This was followed by what is probably his best-known and finest play, The Prince d'Aurec. Lavedan [excelled] in his character-work, the best examples of which are to be found in the play just mentioned, as well as in The Latest Fad (Le Nouveau Jeu) and The Marquis de Priola. [His other plays include Le Duel, a powerful psychological study of the relationship between two brothers, which was produced at the Comédie Française in 1905. Lavedan was admitted to the Académie Française in 1898. He died in 1940.]