The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

September 9, 2012

Sept. 9, 1703

Charles Saint-Evremond (1614 to September 9, 1703) was a French writer who was probably involved in espionage for the 17th century French government. A brave,witty, handsome man, Charles Saint-Evremond was an independent thinker, and found a home in England when political tides made his homeland unsafe for him. He was so popular at the English court that Charles II, in what  may be an  example of the humor of kings,  made Saint-Evremond the governor of ducks in St. James park. Here is the account the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography gives of Saint-Evremond's home towards the end of his long life:

For all his social celebrity Saint-Evremond grew increasingly negligent of his personal appearance, and lived in conditions that were considered insalubrious even by seventeenth-century standards. His house in Pall Mall was full of animals of all kinds, dogs, cats, birds, and a monkey: he excused the mess by saying that as he grew old he needed to be surrounded by life and energy. 

Charles Saint-Evremond is, the same source tells us, considered by some the inventor of the "short informal critical essay." He wrote in many genres and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

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