François Fénelon


1651 – 1715


Who was François Fénelon?

François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon, more commonly known as François Fénelon, was a French Roman Catholic archbishop, theologian, poet and writer. He today is remembered mostly as the author of The Adventures of Telemachus, first published in 1699.

Famous Quotes:

  • The past but lives in written words: a thousand ages were blank if books had not evoked their ghosts, and kept the pale unbodied shades to warn us from fleshless lips.
  • Do not make best friends with a melancholy sad soul. They always are heavily loaded, and you must bear half.
  • Children are excellent observers, and will often perceive your slightest defects. In general, those who govern children, forgive nothing in them, but everything in themselves.
  • How rare it is to find a soul quiet enough to hear God speak.
  • Little opportunities should be improved.
  • Nothing will make us so charitable and tender to the faults of others, as, by self-examination, thoroughly to know our own.
  • All earthly delights are sweeter in expectation than in enjoyment; but all spiritual pleasures more in fruition than in expectation.
  • If the riches of the Indies, or the crowns of all the kingdom of Europe, were laid at my feet in exchange for my love of reading, I would spurn them all.
  • Most people I ask little from. I try to give them much, and expect nothing in return and I do very well in the bargain.
  • Had we not faults of our own, we should take less pleasure in complaining of others.

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Aug 6, 1651
Also known as
  • Francois Fenelon
  • Francois de Salignac de La Mothe Fenelon
  • Catholicism
  • France
  • University of Cahors
  • University of Paris
Lived in
  • Aquitaine
Jan 7, 1715

on July 23, 2013


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