Brunetiere, Ferdinand

(1849-1906) Critic and professor, born Toillon, France; died Paris, France. His critical ability, wide learning and trenchant style won early recognition and he became editor-in-chief of the "Revue des Deux Mondes." For several years he held the position of professor of French literature and language at the Ecole Normale, being dropped from the list of professors, owing to his conversion to Catholicism, when the school was reorganized in 1905. He lectured in the United States in 1897. The greatest French critic of the last twenty years of the 19th century, his earlier method was dogmatic, literary works being judged according to certain principles he had laid down as criteria. About 1889 he changed his method and applied to literature the theory of development. His conversion to Catholicism was the result of long and thorough study of Bossuet, and for 10 years he defended his faith against the attacks of free-thinkers.

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