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  • Chateaubriand, Lamartine, Nerval, and Flaubert in Palestine
  • Fernande Bassan (bio)
Fernande Bassan

Assistant Professor of French, Trinity College, University of Toronto; author of Les Carnets d’Orient de Caignart de Saulcy (1955) and Chateaubriand et la Terre-Sainte (1959)


1. See my thesis, Chateaubriand et la Terre-Sainte (Presses Universitaires de France, 1959), from which I draw information on the tradition of the pilgrimage and the general conditions of this voyage. This information has been gathered from many pilgrims’ accounts, various studies, the Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Political Correspondence. Turkey), etc.

2. Rhéa Thenen, “Flaubert à Jérusalem,” Mercure de France (Jan., 1958), 152–9.

3. On the commercial relations between France and Palestine through the centuries, see the studies by Rey, Pouqueville, Salvador, Flachat, Depping, Heyd, Pigeonneau, Paul Masson, Fr. Charles Roux, and G, Manzi.

4. Our main sources of information concerning Chateaubriand’s voyage to the Holy Land are his letters in Correspondance Générale (Paris, 1912–24), certain of his works of fiction (Les Martyrs, La Vie de Rancé), his Journal de Jérusalem (pub. 1950), two of his articles in Mercure de France (July & August, 1807), l’Itinéraire de Paris à Jérusalem, and his Mémoires d’Outre-Tombe, supplemented by the diary of his servant Julien, “Itinéraire de Paris à Jérusalem” par Julien, domestique de M. de Chateaubriand (pub. 1904). The external evidence enables us to say that with the exception of a few unessential details, Chateaubriand’s account of his adventures is accurate, a point not without interest in view of certain accusations of untruthfulness that have been levelled against him.

5. The sources of information for Lamartine’s voyage are his letters to friends in Correspondance publiée par Mme Valentine de Lamartine (Paris, 1882) and Correspondance générale de 1830 à 1848 (Paris, 1943–48), his travel sketch-books (eight of which were published by Nizet in 1960), his Souvenirs, Impressions, Pensées et Paysages pendant un Voyage en Orient, 1832–1833, ou Notes d’un Voyageur (1835), the account of his servant Ducôté (excerpts published by H. Guillemin in Revue des Deux Mondes, June 1, 1937), and in the account of his fellow-traveller Delaroière (Voyage en Orient, 1836), who says that the only merit of his book is that it is true.

6. Dargaud notes this in his Diary, excerpts from which have been published by Des Cognets, La Vie Intérieure de Lamartine, 184–5.

7. Des Cognets, 220.

8. H. Guillemin, Connaissance de Lamartine (Fribourg, 1942), 241 f.

9. Ed. Gilbert Rouger (Paris, 1950), 4 vols.

10. Correspondance (Bibliothèque de la Pléiade).

11. Correspondance (Paris, 1926–33), completed by the Correspondance inédite (Paris, 1953), 4 vols. Voyages, ed. R. Dumesnil (Paris, 1948), vol. 2: Orient et Afrique. See Rhéa Thenen, note 2, above.

12. Emile Hamard, his brother-in-law, who became mad.

13. Dr. Cloquet, and Dr. Achille Flaubert, his brother.

14. A passage from this letter was omitted in the edition of the Correspondance; the complete text was published by Mme Durry (Flaubert et ses projets inédits, 1950) and R. Dumesnil (La Vocation de Flaubert, 1961).



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