Born in Toucy on 23 October 1817, Pierre Larousse takes there, at 20 years old, the direction of the higher primary school. In 1840, he goes to Paris and starts to publish various didactic works.
Larousse is an autodidact, an anticlerical and a staunch republican. He also had a great sense of humor. For example, in his dictionary, the definition for “zero” is “a quantity which in itself does not have any value but which makes twice sronger the number that precedes it”, and for “peace”, he says “when one checks the annals of humanity, one sees such a series of bloody wars that one wonders whether the war is not truly the normal state of mankind”.
He died in 1875.
His masterwork is the “Grand Dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle”, that he wrote alone and published between 1866 and 1876, in 17 volumes. Of little informative value due to its ideological bias, it's an invaluable source of information on the period.
Here is the original article on Emma Hamilton in French and it's translation in English. Depending of your mood, you can laugh or cry, but don't take it at facial value.download (104 Kb)
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