Jean François Sarrazin
, was a French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
Sarrazin was born at Hermanville
Hermanville-sur-Mer is a commune in the Calvados department in the Basse-Normandie region in northwestern France.-Population:-Sights:* 13th century church* Commonwealth war cemetery* Old village center...
, near Caen, the son of Roger Sarasin, treasurer-general at Caen
Caen is a commune in northwestern France. It is the prefecture of the Calvados department and the capital of the Basse-Normandie region. It is located inland from the English Channel....
He was educated at Caen, and later settled in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...
. As a writer of vers de société
Vers de société, a term for social or familiar poetry, which was originally borrowed from the French, and has now come to rank as an English expression.-In France:...
he rivalled Voiture
Vincent Voiture , French poet, was the son of a rich merchant of Amiens. He was introduced by a schoolfellow, the count Claude d'Avaux, to Gaston, Duke of Orléans, and accompanied him to Brussels and Lorraine on diplomatic missions.Although a follower of Gaston, he won the favour of Cardinal...
, but he was never admitted to the inner circle of the hotel de Rambouillet. He was on terms of intimate friendship with Scarron
Paul Scarron was a French poet, dramatist, and novelist. His precise birthdate is unknown, but he was baptized on July 4, 1610...
, with whom he exchanged verses, with Ménage
Gilles Ménage was a French scholar.He was born at Angers, the son of Guillaume Ménage, king's advocate at Angers, where Gilles was born....
, and with Pellisson
thumb|Paul Pellisson,Paul Pellisson was a French author.He was born in Béziers, of a distinguished Calvinist family. He studied law at Toulouse, and practised at the bar of Castres. Going to Paris with letters of introduction to Valentin Conrart, a fellow Calvinist, he was introduced to the...
. In 1639 he supported Georges de Scudéry
Georges de Scudéry , the elder brother of Madeleine de Scudéry, was a French novelist, dramatist and poet.Georges de Scudéry was born in Le Havre, in Normandy, whither his father had moved from Provence...
in his attack on Corneille
Pierre Corneille was a French tragedian who was one of the three great seventeenth-century French dramatists, along with Molière and Racine...
with a Discours de la tragédie
. He accompanied Léon Bouthillier, comte de Chavigny, secretary of state for foreign affairs, on various diplomatic errands. He was to have been sent on an embassy to Rome, but spent the money allotted for the purpose in Paris. This weakened his position with Chavigny, from whom he parted in the winter of 1643-1644.
To restore his fallen fortunes he married a rich widow, but the alliance was of short duration. He joined in the pamphlet war against Pierre de Montmaur, against whom he directed his satire, Bellum parasiticum
(1644). He was accused of writing satires on Mazarin, and for a short time gave up the practice of verse. In 1648, supported by the cardinal de Retz and Madame de Longueville, he entered the household of Armand de Bourbon, prince de Conti
Armand de Bourbon, Prince de Conti was a French nobleman, the second son of Henry II, Prince of Condé and brother of Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé and Anne Genevieve, Duchess of Longueville. As a member of the reigning House of Bourbon, he was a Prince du Sang.The title of Prince de Conti...
, whose marriage with Mazarin's niece he helped to negotiate. He died of fever at Pézenas, in Languedoc
Languedoc is a former province of France, now continued in the modern-day régions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées in the south of France, and whose capital city was Toulouse, now in Midi-Pyrénées. It had an area of approximately 42,700 km² .-Geographical Extent:The traditional...
on 5 December 1654.
His biographers have variously stated on inadequate evidence that his death was caused by the prince de Conti in a moment of passion, or that he was poisoned by a jealous husband. The most considerable of his poems were the epic fragments of Rollon conquérant, la guerre espagnole
, with Dulot vaincu
and the Pompe funèbre
in honour of Voiture. As a poet he was overrated, but he was the author of two excellent pieces of prose narration, the Histoire du siége de Dunkerque
(1649) and the unfinished Conspiration de Walstein
(1651). The Walstein
has been compared for elegance and simplicity of style to Voltaire's Charles XII
appeared in 1656, Nouvelles Œuvres
(2 vols.) in 1674. His Poésies
were edited in 1877 by Octave Uzanne
Louis Octave Uzanne , known as Octave Uzanne, was a 19th-century French bibliophile, non-fiction writer, publisher and journalist.Born in Auxerre, of a bourgeois family, he came to Paris after his father's death...
with an introductory note. Much of his correspondence is preserved in the library of the Arsenal, Paris. See Albert Mennung's Jean François Sarasins Leben und Werke
(2 vols., Halle, 1902–1904).