Biography of Alphonse Daudet

Alphonse Daudet was a French novelist, short story writer, poet, and playwright recognized for his contributions to the literary movement known as Naturalism.

After trying to make a living as a schoolteacher in the south of France, Daudet moved to Paris to live with his older brother. There he began writing poetry and plays, which earned him attention from Morny, one of Napoleon III's ministers. Daudet worked as one of Morny's secretaries until Morny's death in 1865. Daudet then returned to publishing with books of letters and short stories, including Contes du Lundi (Monday Tales), in which "The Last Lesson" is the opening story.

Although many colleges and schools in France are named after Daudet and his books are still widely read, Daudet's legacy is marred by his anti-Jewish views and his friendships with prominent French antisemitic campaigners.

Study Guides on Works by Alphonse Daudet

Alphonse Daudet's 1873 short story "The Last Lesson" is about Franz, an Alsatian schoolboy who arrives late to school one morning to learn that Germany, having annexed the Alsace and Lorraine regions of France, has decreed the French language will...