X. B. Saintine
1798 – 1865
Who was X. B. Saintine?
Xavier Boniface Saintine was a French dramatist and novelist. He was born Joseph Xavier Boniface in Paris in 1798. In 1823, he produced a volume of poetry in the manner of the Romanticists, entitled Poèmes, odes, épîtres. In 1836 appeared Picciola, a novel about the comte de Charney, a political prisoner in Piedmont, whose reason was saved by his cultivation of a tiny flower growing between the paving stones of his prison yard. This story is a masterpiece of the sentimental kind, and has been translated into many European languages. The novel earned him renown and came to be regarded as a classic of French literature.
He produced many other novels, none of striking individuality with the exception of Seul, which purported to be the authentic record of Alexander Selkirk on his desert island. Saintine was a prolific dramatist, and collaborated in more than 200 pieces with Eugène Scribe and others, usually under the name of Xavier. He co-wrote the story which was to form the basis for Bellini's opera I puritani. He died in Paris in 1865.
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