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...
writer, the son of Alphonse Daudet
Alphonse Daudet was a French novelist. He was the father of Léon Daudet and Lucien Daudet.- Early life :Alphonse Daudet was born in Nîmes, France. His family, on both sides, belonged to the bourgeoisie. The father, Vincent Daudet, was a silk manufacturer — a man dogged through life by misfortune...
. Although a prolific novelist and painter, he was never really able to trump his father's greater reputation and is now primarily remembered for his ties to fellow novelist Marcel Proust
Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental À la recherche du temps perdu...
(Remembrance of Things Past
). Daudet was also friends with Jean Cocteau
Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker. His circle of associates, friends and lovers included Kenneth Anger, Pablo Picasso, Jean Hugo, Jean Marais, Henri Bernstein, Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, Erik Satie, María...
The Daudet family was composed of the father, Alphonse, the mother Julia (née Allard), Léon
Léon Daudet was a French journalist, writer, an active monarchist, and a member of the Académie Goncourt.-Move to the right:...
, the older brother, Edmée, and Lucien. Every member of the family wrote books: father, mother, brother, sister, sister-in-law (Marthe Allard under the pseudonym of “Pampille”) and uncle (Ernest Daudet). Lucien himself published about fifteen books.
Cultivated, “very beautiful, very elegant, a thin and frail young man, with a tender and a somewhat effeminate face”, according to Jean-Yves Tadié
Jean-Yves Tadié is a French writer, specializing in Marcel Proust. His 800-page biography of Proust was well-received, asserted by Edmund White in his own book on Proust to be the best work of its kind...
, Daudet lived a fashionable life which made him meet Marcel Proust. They shared at least a friendship (if not a sexual relationship), which was revealed by Jean Lorrain
Jean Lorrain , born Paul Duval, was a French poet and novelist of the Symbolist school....
in his chronicle in the Journal
. It is for this indiscretion that Proust and Lorrain fought a duel in 1897.
Lucien Daudet was also a painter. After having taken lessons at the Académie Julian
The Académie Julian was an art school in Paris, France.Rodolphe Julian established the Académie Julian in 1868 at the Passage des Panoramas, as a private studio school for art students. The Académie Julian not only prepared students to the exams at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts, but offered...
, he was a pupil of Whistler and had an exposition together with Bernheim-Jeune in 1906. His tableaux are not known anymore except by literary allusions to them (correspondence of Proust; catalogue by Anna de Noailles).
All his life, Daudet was overshadowed by his father in literature ("I am the son of a man whose celebrity and talent count for several generations, I remain under his shade"), and by Whistler in painting ("He gave me a certain taste in painting, but also very great contempt for that which is not of first rank... and I apply this contempt to what I make.")
Towards the end of his life, in 1943, he married Marie-Thérèse, the younger sister of Pierre Benoit
Pierre Benoît was a French novelist and member of the Académie française.Pierre Benoit, born in Albi was the son of a French soldier. Benoit spent his early years and military service in Northern Africa, before becoming a civil servant...
- Le Chemin mort, 1908
- La Fourmilière, 1909
- Le Prince des cravates, 1910
- L’Impératrice Eugénie, Fayard, 1911
- L’Inconnue, Flammarion, 1923
- Autour de 60 lettres de Marcel Proust, 1928
- Dans l’ombre de l’impératrice Eugénie, Gallimard, 1935
- Vie d’Alphonse Daudet, 1941