Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Crebillon, Prosper Jolyot de (1674-1762), a French tragic poet, born at Dijon, and educated by the Jesuits. He at first entered a procureur's office, but showed little aptitude for the calling, and was encouraged by his master to turn his attention to the theatre. His first effort, Les Enfants de Brutus, was a failure, but it showed his predilection for sombre subjects. He used to say that Corneille had monopolised Heaven, Racine Earth, and that only Hell was left for him. Accordingly in 1705 appeared Idomenee, Atree et Thyeste in 1707, and Electre in 1709, to be followed by his masterpiece, Rhadamiste et Zenobie. His next work, Xerxes, in 1714, showed a falling-off. In 1717 he produced Semiramis, and Pyrrhus in 1726; and then he rested till 1748, when he produced Catilina. Being criticised as not giving Cicero sufficient prominence in this, he wrote Le Triumvirat in 1754. Crebillon seems to have been a man of modest and retiring disposition, and a somewhat melancholy turn of mind relieved by occasional gaiety. Claude Prosper Jolyot de (1707-1777), was the son of the above; his works were of a somewhat questionable nature. On the principle of "set a thief to catch a thief," he was appointed censor. Sterne speaks of having read his works.