Paul-Louis Courier

épistolier, pamphlétaire, helléniste
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Biographical chronology

1772 - January, 4 Birth of Paul-Louis Courier, in Paris, on Mail Street. An illegitimate child, he is registered as « son of Jean-Paul Courier and Louise-Elisabeth de Montdeville ».
1776 - February, 10 Purchase of the property la Véronique, in Cinq-Mars la Pile.
1777 - February, 11 Jean-Paul Courier marries Louise-Elisabeth Laborde in Saint-Pierre de Mazières-en-Touraine’s church. Paul-Louis is legally recognized.
1777 - Autumn Settling of the Courier couple with little Paul-Louis in Cinq-Mars-la-Pile.
1777 - December, 4 Reform of Paul-Louis Courier‘s baptismal certificate.
1779 - Summer Paul-Louis is boarded at Jean-Martin Duroncé’s house in Pernay.
1782 - January, 23 Purchase of the property la Filonnière.
1784 - End of the year The family takes up residence in Paris, on the street of the Vieille-Estrapade, near the Pantheon, so that the teenager benefits from the usual education received by children that come from a good family. .
1791 - October He accompanies his mathematics teacher, Mr Labbey, to Châlons-sur-Marne, where the latter was appointed to the School of artillery.
1792 - September, 1 Placed 21st on the entrance exam of the of Châlons-sur-Marne school.
1793 - June, 1 Gets the 21st place at the final examination of the artillery’s School. Posted to Thionville with the rank of second lieutenant.
1793 - November, 24 Is appointed lieutenant.
1794 - April Meets up with the army of Moselle in Bliescastel.
1794 - September His parents go back to live in Touraine.
1794 - December In Treves he takes part in the siege of Mayence.
1795 – End of May Stays in Paris.
1795 - June, 10 Appointed as a forge inspector in the departments of Tarn and Ariège, he gets a leave which he spends at the Véronique property with his parents.
1795 - June, 29 He is appointed as a second captain in command.
1796 - February, 13 Death of his father at the Véronique (Cinq-Mars)
1796 - May He settles in Toulouse until the beginning of 1798.
1798 - February-March Furlough in Paris at the home of his cousins Pigalle.
1798 - March, 5 Sees his mother at the Véronique.
1798 - August & September Is chief of the staff headquarters of the left wing’s artillery of the « armée d’Angleterre » in Rennes.
1798 - November Appointed to the « armée de Rome »
1799 – From January to October Stays in Rome. In September, he escapes miraculously from an Italian gun shot.
1799 - September, 29 The French army leave Rome.
1799 - October, 27 He arrives very weak in Marseilles, following ceaseless spams of blood-spitting. Arriving in Paris, he is stripped of everything he has on him. He is in convalescence leave until August of 1801. He attends the D’Ansse de Villoison Greek class, frequents erudite Parisian circles and composes the Praise of Buffon (Eloge de Buffon) (1st edition in 1828). He befriends the Hellenist, Etienne Clavier.
1801 - June Convalescence at the Véronique.
1801 - October, 3 Death of his mother while he was at her bedside.
1801 - November, 27 Posted until August 29th, 1802 to the 7th regiment of foot artillery in Strasbourg.
1802 First publication: Study on a new edition of Athénée by Mr Schweighäuser (Étude sur une nouvelle édition d’Athénée par M. Schweighäuser).
1802 - September During a furlough spent in Touraine, he writes Menelas after the flight of Helen (Ménélas après la fuite d’Hélène ) (published in 1828).
1802 - October, 10 About Diogene (Sur Diogène) - On the worth of the orators compared to the those of athletes, translated from Isocrate (Sur le mérite des orateurs comparé à celui des athlètes, traduit d’Isocrate ) (both published in 1828).)
1803 - March Praise of Helen (Éloge d’Hélène), translated from Isocrate.
1803 - March, 31 Sale of the Véronique and the Guyotterie.
1803 - April, 3 Again prone to spells of blood-spitting.
1803 - August He stays with his military company at Douai, which he will leave on October.
1803 - October, 31 While at Marmont’s place, he learns that he is appointed to the 1st regiment of horse artillery as Major, starting the 29th of October.
1803 - November, 11 Has dinner with Sigismond Viollet-le-Duc at Duroc’s place in Saint-Cloud.
1803 - December, 16 Receives his appointment for Plaisance (Italy) with the Colonel d’Anthouard.
1803 Advice to a colonel (Conseils à un colonel) - The legacy in Spain (L’héritage en Espagne) (both published in 1828)
1804 - March, 6 He leaves for Lyon and arrives at Plaisance on the 18th.
1804 - June, 14 On 25th of Prairial* in the year XII, he receives the Legion of Honor from Marshal Jourdan.
* (N. of T. : Ninth month of the French Republican calendar starting in october of 1793)
1804 - August, 20 Is given orders to go to Tarente.
1804 - October, 12 Is appointed as the Chief of staff headquarters of the artillery of the « armée de Naples. »
1804 - November, 11 He has dinner in Barletta at the house of the Gouvion Saint-Cyr’s wife
1805 - May, 22 Sends his testament to his cousin in Paris, Mrs Marchand.
1805 - November, 23 Commands his battalion during the battle of Castel Franco in the course of which Gouvion Saint-Cyr defeats the Prince of Rohan.
1805 - December, 31 Is appointed to the army corps of the General Reynier.
1806 - March, 9 At Campo Tenese, Courier is awarded a military citation on the battlefield.
1806 - April, 21 Departure for Tarente to bring back canons by order of Reynier.
1806 - July, 4 At Sainte-Euphémie, Reynier is defeated by the English task force. Calabria rises up against the French.
1807 - November Courier inspects the region of the Pouilles on behalf of the « armée de Naples ». On the 1st of November, he writes a letter to his cousin Sophie Pigalle, inspired by the 34th short story of Marguerite de Navarre’s Heptameron.
1807 - December, 1 Stays in Rome.
1807 - December, 20 Staying in Florence, he discovers at the convent of Badia a complete version of Pastorales or Daphnis and Chloe of Longus..
1808 - January, 28 Once in Verona, he is put under arrest for several weeks.
1808 - March, 4 Appointed as second-in-command to the Chief of Artillery at the staff headquarters of Tuscany, at Livorno.
1808 - September In Florence, he finishes the translation taken from the Anabasis of Xenophon.
1809 - March, 10 The resignation from the army he submitted at the end of February is accepted.
1809 - April, 14 Returns to Paris.
1809 - May, 7 Willing to go back to the army, he is sent to the headquarters of the « armée d’Allemagne ».
1809 - June, 1 Stays in Strasbourg.
1809 - June, 10 or 11 Arrives in Vienna.
1809 - July, 1 At the camp of Lobau Island.
1809 - July, 6 Being sick, he cannot take part in the battle of Wagram. His military career ends definitively on the 8th of July.
1809 - July, 21 He settles in Switzerland, near Lucerne.
1809 - September, 21 He translates Pericles (1st edition in 1828).
1809 - October, 3 He starts a stay of three weeks in Milan.
1809 - November, 4 He is in Florence to transcribe Pastorales of Longus with the help of the librarian Francesco del Furia and his assistant Bencini.
1809 - November, 10 Gets an ink blot on the manuscript of Longus.
1810 - January, 23 Appearance of the first article criticizing him in the Italian newspapers; it is the beginning of the ink-blot scandal.
1810 - March, 30 Stays in Rome.
1810 - April Publication in Florence of the found fragment of Longus' writing.
1810 - July, 25 In Florence, copies of Daphnis and Chloé ordered by Courier are seized.
1810 - September Publication of the complete Greek text of Daphnis and Chloé. On the 20th, Letter to Mister Renouard (Lettre à Monsieur Renouard) appears, in which he gives his version about the ink blot affair.
1811 Being often in Rome, he befriends Rosa Monjiu and lives at her home.
1812 - February, 2 He finalizes the letters he wrote from 1804 to 1812, which he is planning to publish in a book. He spends the last two weeks in Naples with Millingen, an English archaeologist and his wife who settled in Italy, and with the Countess of Albany.
March, 2 Conversation with the countess of Albany (1st edition in 1828).
End of the month: returns to his mistress Rosa’s house.
1812 - June, 8 Leaves Rome.
1812 - July, 3 Arrives in Paris.
1812 - August, 13 Goes to Etienne Clavier’s place.
1812 - October, 26 After leaving for Touraine two days prior, he is arrested for several days by the police on watch in Blois, after the failed conspiracy of the General Mallet. Is then released due to the intercession of Sigismond Viollet-le-Duc.
1813 - January, 9 Writes to Rosa that he wishes for her to join him in Paris.
1813 - March, 2 He sends her 200 francs.
1813 - September Courier publishes On commanding the cavalry and on horse-back riding, (Du commandement de la cavalerie et de l’équitation) translated from Xenophon.
1814 - March Courier gets closer to the Clavier family.
1814 - May, 12 He marries the eldest daughter of Etienne Clavier, Herminie, nicknamed « Minette ».
1814 - Mid-August Because of continual quarrels with his mother-in-law in whose house he lives with his wife, he leaves Paris on his own for several weeks.
1815 - From June to beginning of August Stays in Touraine looking for a property to buy.
1815 - August, 21 Election of the «unobtainable» Chamber (Chamber of Deputies unable to reach the objectives of the King Louis XVIII)
1815 - December, 16 Auction purchase of a state property, the woods of Larçay.
1816 - January, 5 Arrest of François Fouquet at Luynes.
1816 - January, 27 Courier spends a pleasant evening at the La Beraudieres' castle, in Saint-Etienne-de-Chigny. On the 30th: first visit of the Chavonnière, in Véretz.
1816 - March, 19 Arrest of five « insurgents » at Luynes.
1816 - March, 22 Arrest of two other « insurgents » at Luynes.
1816 - April, 6 Arrest of two other inhabitants of Luynes and after that date, of a third person.
1816 - August, 12 Release of four persons without legal proceedings.
1816 - September, 7 Acquittal of four of the arrested inhabitants of Luynes, and two are sentenced: one to deportation, the other to three months of jail.
1816 - November On the 7th, Courrer is informed of the « vile affair » of Luynes. On the 9th, he sells two cuts of wood of Larçay to Claude Bourgeau.
1816 - December, 10 Publication of Petition to the two Chambers (Pétition aux deux chambres).
1817 - February In Paris with his wife, Courier begins to spit blood, which is an omen of the worst.
1817 - May, 10 Herminie paints her ill husband in watercolours.
1817 - Beginning of June Courier goes with his wife to rest at the spa of Cauterêts, in the Pyrenees.
1817 - November, 18 Sudden death of Etienne Clavier. The Courier couple learns the sad news in Tours on the 22nd and leaves for Paris.
1818 - January Beginning of his disagreement with Bourgeau, the wood merchant. On the 12th, Courier is at the Chavonnière and feels so sick that he writes to his wife in Paris asking her to bring him back, which she does. He seems near death.
1818 - March, 25 Publication of Lucius, or, The ass (la Luciade ou l’Âne) of Lucius of Patras.
1818 - April, 21 Purchase of the Chavonnière. The sale agreement allows the seller Isambert to go on living at the place until full payment.
1818 - July, 3 Courier is turned away from the seat previously held by Clavier at the Institut for Le Prévost d’Iray. On the 15th, publication of To Messrs the Magistrates of the civil court of Tours (MM. Les juges du tribunal civil à Tours).
1818 - August, 3 and 4 Assessment of the wood cuts which brings into conflict Bourgeau and Courier. The latter, being in Paris, is represented by Herminie.
1818 - October, 2 Courier, who ran as a candidate for the seat of Visconti at the Institute, is turned away. On the 19th, Isambert finds the door of the Chavonnière closed.
1818 - November, 6 Clavier known as Blondeau is hired as a warden of the woods of Larçay.
1818 - December, 17 The Mayor of Véretz, Archambault de Beaune, summons Blondeau for carrying firearms.
1819 - March On the 23rd, publication of Letter to Messrs of the Academy of Inscriptions and Literature (Lettre à MM. de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres) and of Petition to the ministers (Placet aux ministres).
On the 27th, Courier is received in Paris by Villemain, then Professor of Eloquence at the Sorbonne, to have his rights recognized in the controversy which brings him into conflict with the Véretz’s Mayor.
1819 - April, 28 Courier meets Guizot, counsel of the Council of State, for the same reason he had met Villemain
1819 - May On the 5th, a law on the freedom of the press is passed. At the same time, Courier settles up the woods of Larçay. On the 30th, publication of Lawsuit against Pierre Clavier known as Blondeau (Procès de Pierre Clavier dit Blondeau).
1819 - July, 17 Publication of the 1st of eight letters published by the newspaper Le Censeur.
1820 - February On the 13th, assassination of the Duke of Berry. On the 17th, end of the legal proceedings of Isambert.
1820 - March, 13 9th letter to Le Censeur..
1820 - August, 2 End of the proceedings against Bourgeau.
1820 - September On the 29th, birth of the Duke of Bordeaux, «the miracle child».
On the 30th, birth at the Chavonnière of Paul-Etienne Courier.
1820 - October On the 14th, To Messrs of the Council of Prefecture of Tours (A MM. du Conseil de préfecture à Tours). On the 18th, 1st particular letter.
1820 - November, 28 Second particular letter.
1821 - End of April Simple speech of Paul-Louis… to the members of the Veretz municipality… about a subscription to raise funds for the purchase of Chambord (Simple discours de Paul-Louis… aux membres de la commune de Véretz… à l’occasion d’une souscription pour l’acquisition de Chambord ).
1821 - May, 14 Order of confiscation of the Simple speech.
1821 - July To the devout souls of Véretz’s parish (Aux âmes dévotes de la paroisse de Véretz).
1821 - August, 28 Courier is prosecuted by the Seine’s Court of Assizes for the Simple speech; he is sentenced to two months imprisonment, and to a two hundred francs fine for « affront to public decency ».
1821 - September, 30 Trial of Paul-Louis Courier (Procès de Paul-Louis Courier).
1821 - October, 11 Starts his prison sentence at Sainte-Pélagie. On the 14th, he receives a copy of History of Painting in Italy (l’Histoire de la peinture en Italie) signed by Stendhal, the author.
1821 - December La Fayette visits Courier on the 4th. On the 9th, Courier is released from prison.
1822 - May, 10 Courier runs for the Chamber of Deputies in the district of Chinon-Loches.
1822 - July, 15 Petition for villagers who are prevented from dancing (Pétition pour des villageois que l'on empêche de danser).
1822 - August, 12 Seizure of the Petition for villagers.
At the end of August, first underground pamphlet officially published in Brussels: 1st answer to the anonymous persons who wrote letters to Paul-Louis Courier (1ère réponse aux anonymes qui ont écrit des lettres à Paul-Louis Courier).
1822 - November, 26 He appears before the magistrates' court for the Petition but he is released for lack of an accurate definition of the offence.
1822 - December Publication of Herodote.
1823 - January, 28 Opening of debates at the Chamber about the possibility of rescuing the Spanish King Ferdinand VI.
1823 - February On the 1st, Letter to the Courrier français.
On the 6th, publication of the 2nd letter to the anonymous persons. Some time during the month, he publishes in quick succession three pamphlets: Booklet of Paul-Louis Courier, winegrower, during his stay in Paris (Livret de Paul-Louis, vigneron, pendant son séjour à Paris ), Diplomatic piece taken from English newspapers, village’s Gazette (Pièce diplomatique extraite des journaux anglais, Gazette du village) and An old soldier of the army (Un vieux soldat de l’armée).
1823 - March, 4 The deputy Manuel is expelled from the Chamber after denouncing very clearly the irrelevance of the war in Spain. Shortly after that, Courier hires Pierre Dubois at the Chavonnière.
1823 - July, 24 Courier is probably received by Louis-Philippe.
1823 - End of August Feeling very ill in Paris, he sends his final testament to his wife, who stayed in Véretz.
1823 - October On the 4th, To Mr Editor of the Courrier français (A M. le Rédacteur du Courrier français), on the 8th and the 14th, To Mr Editor of the Constitutional (A M. le Rédacteur du Constitutionnel). He probably meets the Duke of Orleans on the 14th. On the 29th, Courier is arrested by the police in the middle of the street in Paris and released the next day.
1823 - November On the 1st, To Mr Editor of the Constitutional; on the 3rd, Letter to the Editor of the Quotidienne.
1824 - February Symphorien Dubois, Pierre’s brother is employed at the Chavonnière.
1824 - March, 15 Sale of the Filonnière. In the course of the month, publication of the Pamphlet des pamphlets.
1824 - May Courier learns of his marital misfortune. He is destroyed.
1824 - July, 18 Courier dismisses Pierre Dubois.
1824 - August Is welcomed by Gouvion Saint-Cyr for several weeks.
1824 - October, 19 Birth of Louis-Esther at the Chavonnière.
1825 - January, 6 Herminie moves in at her mother’s home in Paris with Paul-Etienne.
1825 - February, 15 Courier spends the day with Stendhal.
1825 - mars Announcement to the bookseller (Avertissement au libraire), last pamphlet.
1825 - April, 10 Paul-Louis Courier is murdered in the woods of Larçay, on this evening of the day of Quasimodo.

Source : Geneviève Viollet-le-Duc
Traduction de Jacky Santos da Silva.