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According to Agnes E Mackay author of La Fontaine and His Friends A Biography Jean De La Fontaine was born in 1621 in a French province Champagne Because of his indolent nature his family decided to make of him a priest by sending him to a seminary But young La Fontaine was not gifted for theology only literature attracted him so his dad sent for him and married Jean in 1647 to Marie Hricart Back home La Fontaine held office as an inspector of forests and waterways an office inherited from his father Before long La Fontaine separated from his wife 1658 gave up his job 1671 and went to live in Paris where he spent his productive years Mackay 21-44 In the Britannica Encyclopedia it is written The true nature of the man remains enigmatic He was intensely and naively selfish unconventional in behavior and impatient of all constraint Yet according to Magaret Guiton author of La Fontaine Poet and Counterpoet La Fontaine was a mastermind at making and keeping friends He was the protg of rich patrons and they were happy to support him For twenty years La Fontaine lived at the home of Madame de La Sablire whose salon was famous for gathering scholars philosophers and writers In 1684 La Fontaine was elected to the French Academy After Madame de La Sablires death in 1693 La Fontaine went to live with a friend Hervart where he died two years later Guiton 187-190 Even though La Fontaines father a lover of poetry encouraged his son in his love for books nobody knows exactly what motivated La Fontaine to write poetry According to many critics including Philip Wadsworth author of Young La Fontaine there is an anecdote by a certain dOlivet that states that La Fontaines poetic vocation was born when he heard at 22 years old an officer give an inspired reading of an ode by Malherbe He was impressed just as though
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