Jean de La Fontaine

Poet, Author

1621 – 1695


Who was Jean de La Fontaine?

Jean de La Fontaine was the most famous French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century. He is known above all for his Fables, which provided a model for subsequent fabulists across Europe and numerous alternative versions in France, and in French regional languages.

According to Flaubert, he was the only French poet to understand and master the texture of the French language before Hugo. A set of postage stamps celebrating La Fontaine and the Fables was issued by France in 1995.

Famous Quotes:

  • We always take credit for the good and attribute the bad to fortune.
  • Still people are dangerous.
  • Every journalist owes tribute to the evil one.
  • Nothing is more dangerous than a friend without discretion; even a prudent enemy is preferable.
  • Everyone has his faults which he continually repeats: neither fear nor shame can cure them.
  • To live lightheartedly but not recklessly; to be gay without being boisterous; to be courageous without being bold; to show trust and cheerful resignation without fatalism -- this is the art of living.
  • The argument of the strongest is always the best.
  • Neither wealth or greatness render us happy.
  • We read on the foreheads of those who are surrounded by a foolish luxury, that fortune sells what she is thought to give.
  • Luck's always to blame.

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Jul 8, 1621
Also known as
  • Jean Fontaine
  • La Fontaine
  • Jean De LA Fontaine
  • France
Lived in
  • Picardy
Apr 13, 1695
Resting place
Père Lachaise Cemetery

on July 23, 2013


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