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Author Information: Erckmann-Chatrian



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Pseudonym of Alexandre Chatrian & Émile Erckmann.

Erckmann (1822-1899) met Chatrian (1826-1890) in Phalsbourg, his home town, in 1847, when Chatrian was an usher in the college at which Erckmann was studying law. Their decision to start writing together was followed by the publication of their first book, Contes Fantastiques, that same year. For nearly forty years they collaborated on novels, short stories, poems and plays, until a quarel and lawsuit over alleged slander broke up their friendship and partnership. The death of Chatrian a year after the legal case was quite probably hastened by the bitter end of their long relatiohship.

Specialising in military history and tales of their native Alsace, Erckmann-Chatrian also produced many successful plays, of which the most well known today is probably The Polish Bell, produced in England by Sir Henry Irving under the title The Bells. As well as these and other literary works, they were fond of producing the occasional tale of terror. Precious few have survived to this day, though they were among the most original and entertaining tales of their kind on the Continent in those days.


©Steven Jeffery /, 2017
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