Facts about Jean de La Fontaine

  • Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) was a French poet, is famous for his Fables (1668-1694).
  • Modelad on Aesop's Fables, La Fontaine's fables portray human behavior through animal characters. But La Fontaine suggests more forcefully than Aesop that life is a jungle.
  • La Fontaine treated such serious subjects as power, greed, and violence with an amused, philosophical acceptance.
  • La Fontaine wrote his fables in light, natural verse. Despite their pessimism and sophistication, the Fables still play a large role in the education of French children.
  • La Fontaine also wrote a collection of racy stories called Cantes (Tales) (1664-1666).
  • According to Flaubert, he was the only French poet to understand and master the texture of the French language before Hugo.
  • La Fontaine was born in Ch├íteau-Thierry. His friends described him as childlike, absent-minded, and ill-at-ease in society. A series of wealthy, cultured patrons supported him.