Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Born Today April 11: Claude Tillier


French writer Claude Tillier was born on this date in Clamecy, Névre, France.  He was a prominent pamphleteer who also penned novels.  He was born to a locksmith, but was able to attend formal studies at the Lycee de Bourges thanks to a grant given to him by his hometown.  He graduated in 1820 and continued on to study at the college of Soissons, and later in Paris.  He was a keen student of rhetoric, and after his education, became a translator of Greek and Latin.  He spent a brief period in the French army and returned to his hometown upon his release.  There he became a teacher.  Not satisfied with the curriculum given to him to teach, he quit and founded his own private school.  At the same time he also started his own newspaper.  The last job that he held in life was that of a editor of a democratic newspaper in Nevers.  Five films have been made from his most famous novel Mon oncle Benjamin. One of them in 1924.  My Uncle Benjamin was a French production of the Pathe' Consortium Cinéma.  It is the only film made from his book during the silent era. The first sound era production of the book came in the French television series Le théâtre de la jeunesse in 1963.  The most recent film produced from this work was released in 1973, Mein Onkel Benjamin is a German made for television film.  While he was in military service he contracted tuberculosis, and it would be that disease that would cut his life short at the age of 43, when he died in his hometown on the 12th of October.  He is buried in the Jean-Gautherin Cemetery.

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