Black and white photograph of French man of letters Anatole France.

Anatole France

(1844 - 1924)

Born Jacques-Anatole-François Thibault in Paris in 1844, the novelist and short-story writer Anatole France only became politically outspoken late in life, as a result of the Dreyfus Affair, adding his name to the list of signatories of Émile Zola’s “J’accuse” letter in 1898, proclaiming his belief in socialism in 1904, and declaring, “You think you are dying for your country; you die for the industrialists” in 1922. He was elected to the French Academy in 1896 and awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1921. 

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Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another.

—Anatole France, 1881

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