Skip to main content

Maurras, Charles Marie Photius 1868-1952

Maurras, Charles Marie Photius 1868-1952

PERSONAL:

Born April 20, 1868 in Martigues, France; died November 16, 1952 in Tours, France. Religion: Roman Catholic.

CAREER:

Political philosopher, journalist, poet.

MEMBER:

Action Française; elected to the Académie Française, 1938, condemned and dismissed, 1945.

WRITINGS:

POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY

Le chemin du Paradis, mythes et fabliaux, C. Lévy (Paris, France), 1894.

Le voyage d'Athènes, E. de Boccard (Paris, France), 1896.

L'idée de décentralization, Revue encyclopédique (Paris, France), 1898.

Trois idées politiques: Chateaubriand, Michelet, Sainte-Beuve, H. Champion (Paris, France), 1899.

Enquête sur la monarchie, Nouvelle Librairie nationale (Paris, France), 1900.

Anthinéa: d'Athènes à Florence, E. Flammarion (Paris, France), 1901.

Une campagne royaliste au "Figaro", Nouvelle Librairie nationale (Paris, France), 1902.

L'avenir de l'intelligence, Nouvelle Librairie nationale (Paris, France), 1905.

Le dilemme de Marc Sangnier, Nouvelle Librairie nationale (Paris, France), 1907.

Kiel et Tanger, Nouvelle Librairie nationale (Paris, France), 1910.

La politique religieuse, Nouvelle Librairie nationale (Paris, France), 1912.

L'Action française et la religion catholique, Nouvelle Librairie nationale (Paris, France), 1914.

Quand les Français ne s'aimaient pas, Nouvelle Librairie nationale (Paris, France), 1916.

Les conditions de la victoire, four volumes, Nouvelle Librairie nationale (Paris, France), 1916-1918.

Le pape, la guerre et la paix, Nouvelle Librairie nationale (Paris, France), 1917.

Les chefs socialistes pendant la guerre, Nouvelle Librairie nationale (Paris, France), 1918.

Les trois aspects du président Wilson: la neutralité, l'intervention, l'armistice, Nouvelle Librairie nationale (Paris, France), 1920.

Romantisme et Revolution, Nouvelle Librairie nationale (Paris, France), 1922.

L'allée des philosophes, Société littéraire de France (Paris, France), 1924.

La violence et la mesure: paroles prononcées a la Chambre des appels correctionnels de Paris, le 22 janvier 1924, premier anniversaire de l'assassinat de Plateau, Librairie de l'Action Française (Paris, France), 1924.

Pour en sortir: ce qu'il faut à la France, ce que l'Action Française veut, ce qu'elle fait, ce qu'elle pense, Librairie de l'Action Française (Paris, France), 1925.

Le prince des nuées, Jean Variot (Paris, France), 1928.

Un débat sur le romantisme, E. Flammarion (Paris, France), 1928.

Le mauvais traité de la victoire à Locarno: chronique d'une decadence, Éditions du Capitole (Paris, France), 1928.

Vers un art intellectuel, Nouvelle Librairie nationale (Paris, France), 1928.

Corps glorieux, ou, Vertu de la perfection, L. Pichon (Paris, France), 1928.

La lettre à Schrameck, Éditions du Capitole (Paris, France), 1929.

Napoléon pour ou contre la France, Les Éditions du Cadran (Paris, France), 1929.

De Démos à César, Editions du Capitole (Paris, France), 1930.

Le quadrilatère, Alexis Redier (Paris, France), 1931.

Au signe de Flore, Les OEuvres representatives (Paris, France), 1931.

Casier judiciaire d'Aristide Briand, Éditions du Capitole (Paris, France), 1931.

Pour la défense nationale, Éditions du Capitole (Paris, France), 1931.

Nos raisons contre la Republique, pour la monarchie, L'Action Française (Paris, France), 1931.

Heures immortelles, Nouvelle librairie francaise (Paris, France), 1932.

Dictionnaire politique et critique, five volumes, Cité des livres (Paris, France), 1932-1933.

Louis XIV et la France: essai sur la grandeur qui dure, Éditions du Cadran (Paris, France), 1935.

Dentelle du rempart: choix de pages civiques en prose et en vers (1886-1936), B. Grasset (Paris, France), 1937.

L'amitié de Platon, Éditions du Cadran (Paris, France), 1937.

Les vergers sur la mer, E. Flammarion (Paris, France), 1937.

Jeanne d'Arc, Louis XIV, Napoléon, E. Flammarion (Paris, France), 1937.

Devant l'Allemagne éternelle, Éditions "A l'Étoile" (Paris, France), 1937.

Mes idées politiques, Fayard (Paris, France), 1937.

Louis XIV, ou l'Homme-Roi, Les Éditions du Cadran (Paris, France), 1939.

Pages africaines, F. Sorlot (Paris, France), 1940.

Sous la muraille des cypress, J. Gilbert (Arles, France), 1941.

Mistral, Éditions Montaigne (Paris, France), 1941.

La seule France, H. Lardanchet (Lyon, France), 1941.

De la colère à la justice, Éditions du Milieu du monde (Geneva, Switzerland), 1942.

Pour un réveil français, À l'ombre des cypress (Lyon, France), 1943.

Vers l'Espagne de Franco, Éditions du livre moderne (Paris, France), 1943.

Le pain et le vin, Éditions du Cadran (Paris, France), 1944.

Le procès de Charles Maurras, Bonnefon (Lyon, France), 1945.

Réponse à Paul Claudel, Éditions de Midi (Paris, France), 1945.

Les deux justices ou notre J'accuse, Éditions Self (Paris, France), 1947.

L'ordre et le désordre, Éditions Self (Paris, France), 1948.

Maurice Barrès, La Girouette (Paris, France), 1948.

Réponse à André Gide, Éditions de La Seule France, (Paris, France), 1948.

Au Grand Juge de France, Éditions de la Seule France (Paris, France), 1949.

Inscriptions sur nos ruines, La Girouette (Paris, France), 1949.

Mon jardin qui s'est souvenu, Pierre Lanauve de Tartas (Paris, France), 1950.

Vérité, justice, patrie, avec Maurice Pujo, H. Lardanchet (Lyon, France), 1951.

Jarres de Biot, P. Lanauve de Tartas (Paris, France), 1951.

Le Bienheureux Pie X, sauveur de la France, Plon (Paris, France), 1952.

Le guignon français; ou, Le rouge et le blanc, Les Amis du chemin de paradis (Paris, France), 1952.

Pascal puni, E. Flammarion (Paris, France), 1953.

POETRY

Pour Psyché: poème, Se trouve a La belle edition (Paris, France), 1911.

Inscriptions, Librairie de France (Paris, France), 1922.

Le mystere Ulysse, Nouvelle Revue Française (Paris, France), 1923.

La bataille de la Marne, Librairie de France (Paris, France), 1923.

La musique intérieure, B. Grasset (Paris, France), 1924.

Quatre poèmes d'Eurydice, Éditions du Trident (Paris, France), 1937.

Music within Me, translated by Count Potocki, Right Review (London, England), 1946.

Pour l'honneur d'un fleuve "apostat," Les Amis du chemin de Paradis (Roanne, France), 1950.

Prière à deux voix; Lai d'Aristote, Pour un groupe de bibliophiles (Paris, France), 1952.

A mes vieux oliviers, H. Lardanchet (Lyon, France), 1952.

La balance intérieure, H. Lardanchet (Lyon, France), 1952.

Dear garment: six poems, translated by Count Potocki, Mélissa Press (Dorchester, England), 1965.

OTHER

Théodore Aubanel, Plon (Paris, France), 1889.

Jean Moréas, Plon (Paris, France), 1891.

Les amants de Venise: George Sand et Musset, Albert Fontemoing (Paris, France), 1902

L'étang de Berre, H. Champion (Paris, France), 1915.

Tombeaux, Nouvelle Librairie nationale (Paris, France), 1921.

Poètes, Le Divan (Paris, France), 1923.

Barbarie et poésie, Nouvelle Librairie nationale (Paris, France), 1925.

La sagesse de Mistral, Les Éditions du Cadran (Paris, France), 1925.

Lorsque Hugo eut les cent ans, Chez Madame Lesage (Paris, France), 1927.

Promenade italienne, Charles Maurras (Paris, France), 1929.

Corse et Provence, E. Flammarion (Paris, France), 1930.

Quatre nuits de Provence, E. Flammarion (Paris, France), 1930.

Triptyque de Paul Bourget, E. Flammarion (Paris, France), 1931.

Décernez-moi le prix Nobel de la paix, Editions du Capitole (Paris, France), 1931.

Prologue d'un essai sur la critique, La Porte Étroite (Paris, France), 1935.

Jacques Bainville et Paul Bourget, Éditions du Cadran (Paris, France), 1937.

La Montagne Provençale, Éditions du Cadran (Paris, France), 1937.

Poésie et vérité, H. Lardanchet (Lyon, France), 1944.

Paysages mistraliens, H. Lardanchet (Lyon, France), 1944.

Le cintre de Riom, H. Lardanchet (Lyon, France), 1949.

Originaux de ma Provence: types et paysages, Éditions Detaille (Marseille, France), 1952.

Le beau jeu des reviviscences, Pour un groupe de bibliophiles (Paris, France), 1952.

Lettres de prison (1944-1952), E. Flammarion (Paris, France), 1958.

Lettres passe-murailles, correspondance échangée avec Xavier Vallat (1950-1952), La Table ronde (Paris, France), 1966.

Critique et poésie, Perrin (Paris, France), 1968.

La République ou le roi: correspondance inédite (1888-1923) [de] Maurice Barrès [et] Charles Maurras, Plon (Paris, France), 1970.

SIDELIGHTS:

Charles Marie Photius Maurras is best known as a political writer of the extreme right. He promoted French nationalism and a return to the monarchy, and eventually became a leading Nazi collaborator. He was condemned to life imprisonment for his active support of the Vichy government. In the New Statesman, Carmen Callil called him "a formidable journalist and polemicist," adding, "He was also a man of violent words, a philosopher of fascism."

Maurras believed that, as a result of the French Revolution, France had become dominated by outside influences, namely, Protestants, Freemasons, foreigners, and especially Jews. He hoped to destroy these influences and return France to its traditional institutions, particularly the monarchy and Catholicism. Callil noted, "So firm was his belief that everything engendered in [the Revolution of] 1789 was an aberration, an outcome of English and German influences with Jewish overtones, that he refused to call the revolution ‘French’."

Maurras was born in 1868 in Martigues, a fishing village in the south of France near Marseilles. His father died when he was six and his mother moved the family to Aix-en-Provence where he received a Jesuit education. At age fourteen, an illness left Maurras deaf for life.

He moved to Paris in 1885 and began contributing to various Catholic journals. His work caught the attention of the radical nationalist writer Maurice Barrès, who opened doors for him to larger journals and newspapers.

In 1889, Maurras wrote his first book, a biography of the Provençal poet Théodore Aubanel. He often corresponded with the celebrated poet Frédéric Mistral and was known as a knowledgeable member of the Provençal literary renaissance. Throughout his life Provence would provide a theme for many volumes of prose and poetry.

Maurras wrote for the monarchist journal Le Soleil, the royalist Gazette de France, contributed articles to the Larousse encyclopedia, and wrote lyrical poetry and essays on aesthetics. He studied the philosophy of Auguste Comte, the French positivist philosopher. He assimilated Comte's ideas about order, individualism and scientific reasoning, and added to them his own vision of authority, hierarchy, and the classical values of ancient Greece and Rome. He was convinced that France, and France alone was the rightful heir to these traditions.

In 1891, Maurras covered the first Olympic Games of the modern era for the Gazette de France. Upon his return to Paris he was instrumental in forming a literary group called the Ecole Romane, dedicated to reviving classical norms in French poetry in direct opposition to the Symbolist movement. The Ecole Romane did not, however, create any lasting works, nor did it have much effect on the development of French poetry.

By 1897, the Dreyfus case had politicized the entire nation and solidified Maurras's ideas. His reactionary political theories, which alluded to links between France and ancient Greece, were published in the Nouvelle Revue Française in an essay entitled Trois idées politiques. In January, 1899, Maurras met Henri Vaugeois, a philosophy professor, and the journalist Maurice Pujo of the anti-Dreyfusard Comité d'Action Française. These meetings marked the beginning of the Action Française party and Maurras's active political life. In 1907, he began to collaborate at the party newspaper L'Action Française with the well-known journalist Léon Daudet. Maurras wrote for the paper continuously from 1908 to its last issue in August, 1944.

Although Maurras believed that the Church was an indispensable pillar of French society, his relationship with the Vatican began to deteriorate. A confirmed atheist, Maurras appreciated the Church primarily for its powerful hierarchy and authoritarian presence. The Vatican decided that Maurras was a greater liability than he was an asset and in 1926, publicly condemned him and the Action Française. Since many members of the party were practicing Catholics, the Vatican's decision created rifts within the movement.

With the German occupation of June, 1940, Maurras moved the paper to Lyon where he devoted himself to the "National Revolution" of Maréchal Henri Philippe Pétain. Members of the Action Française occupied most of the important positions in Pétain's Vichy government, and until the final fall of the regime in 1944, Le Maitre, as he was known, was clearly their most esteemed ideologue. As the tide turned against the Germans, Maurras's rhetoric in L'Action Française newspaper became increasingly virulent and paranoid. He began naming names, called for hostage taking, revenge killings, and outdid the Nazis themselves in calling for mass deportations. He wrote in one editorial, "If the death penalty is not sufficient to put a stop to the Gaullists, members of their families should be seized as hostages and executed."

Maurras has been for the most part excluded from the French canon. He is occasionally reevaluated, but attempts to transform the Nazi collaborator into a classical scholar and political philosopher have been largely unsuccessful. In her conclusion in the New Statesman, Carmen Callil wrote, "It is Maurras's own words which have silenced him—that and his fear of the men and women among whom he lived, and who were not as he wanted them to be."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Baudot, Marcel, and others, editors, The Historical Encyclopedia of World War II, Facts on File (New York, NY), 1980, originally published as Encyclopedia de la Guerre, 1939-1945, Editions Casterman (Paris, France), 1977.

Bédé, Jean-Albert and William B. Edgerton, editors, Columbia Dictionary of Modern European Literature, 2nd edition, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1980.

Benet, William Rose, The Reader's Encyclopedia, 2nd edition, Thomas Y. Crowell (New York, NY), 1965.

Coates, Caril F., Repression and Expression, Peter Lang (New York, NY), 1992.

Creveld, Martin van, The Encyclopedia of Revolutions and Revolutionaries: From anarchism to Zhou Enlai, Facts on File (New York, NY), 1996.

Dictionary of Twentieth Century Culture, Volume 2: French Culture 1900-1975, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1995.

Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd edition, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1998.

Fleischmann, Wolfgang Bernard, Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century, 1st edition, Frederick Ungar Publishing (New York, NY), 1967-1975.

Guide to French Literature: 1789 to the present, St. James Press (Chicago, IL), 1992.

Harvey, Sir Paul, and J.E. Heseltine, editors, The Oxford Companion to French Literature, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1959.

Howar, Gerald, Who Did What: The Lives and Achievements of the 5,000 Men and Women—Leaders of Nations, Saints and Sinners, Artists and Scientists—Who Shaped Our World, Crown Publishing (New York, NY), 1974.

Laqueur, Walter, A Dictionary of Politics, revised edition, Macmillan Publishing (New York, NY), 1974.

McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Biography, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 1973.

Panichas, George A., and Claes G. Ryn, editors, Catholic University of America Press (Washington, D.C.), 1986.

Penguin International Dictionary of Contemporary Biography from 1900 to the Present, Viking Penguin (New York, NY), 2001.

Rees, Philip, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right since 1890, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1990.

Steinberg, S.H., editor, Cassell's Encyclopedia of World Literature, revised and enlarged in three volumes by J. Buchanan-Brown, William Morrow (New York, NY), 1973.

Turner, Roland, Thinkers of the Twentieth Century, 2nd edition, St James Press (Chicago, IL), 1987.

Zentner, Christian, and Friedemann Bedurftig, editors, The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, translation edited by Amy Hackett, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1991.

PERIODICALS

ANQ, Summer 1998, Kenneth Asher, essay on Charles Maurras and T.S. Eliot, p. 20.

Claudel Studies, Volume 18, 1991, Christopher Flood, essay on Paul Claudel and Charles Maurras, p. 59.

ELM, Winter 1988, Kenneth Asher, essay on Charles Maurras and T.S. Eliot, p. 895.

Journal of the History of Ideas, January 1973, Stephen Wilson, essay on Fusel de Coulanges and Charles Maurras, p. 123.

Modern Age, summer, 1997, review of Enquête sur la monarchie, p. 305; fall, 1999, Thomas Molnar, essay on Charles Maurras, p. 337.

New Statesman, April 9, 2001, Carmen Callil, article on Charles Maurras, p. 38.

Studies in Medievalism, Volume 9, 1997, Stephen-Steele, essay on Charles Maurras and Frédéric Mistral, p. 171.

Times Literary Supplement, October 5, 1973, review of a critical anthology of Maurras by François Natter and Claude Rousseau, De la politique naturelle au nationalisme integral, p. 1186.

ONLINE

Académie Française,http://www.academie-francaise.fr/, (May 8, 2002), article on Charles Maurras.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Maurras, Charles Marie Photius 1868-1952." Contemporary Authors. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Maurras, Charles Marie Photius 1868-1952." Contemporary Authors. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 18, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/maurras-charles-marie-photius-1868-1952

"Maurras, Charles Marie Photius 1868-1952." Contemporary Authors. . Retrieved November 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/maurras-charles-marie-photius-1868-1952

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.