Guy de Maupassant
(1850 - 1893)
Guy de Maupassant arrived in Paris in 1869 to study law, only to be interrupted by the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian in 1870. Following the war, he served in posts at two French governmental departments, and made the acquaintance of Gustave Flaubert, who was to be a mentor for the young Maupassant, lecturing him on prose style and introducing him to some of the leading literary figures of the day such as Émile Zola, Ivan Turgenev, and Henry James. He published his first, and perhaps finest, story, “Ball of Fat,” in 1880—the same year that Flaubert died—and over the next decade published some 300 short stories, six novels, three travel books, and a single volume of verse. Considered one of the greatest naturalist writers, he died in 1893.