Fontenelle, Bernard le Bovier de (1657-1757), a French centenevrian and writer, was born at Rouen. He was so delicate in childhood that it was considered impossible that he should grow up. His mother weis a sister of Corneille (q.v.).
Fontenelle was educated at the Jesuit College at Rouen, and became an advocate, hut soon abandoned law. In 1674 he came to Paris, and attracted notice by his poems and other writings. He collaborated in some operas, and in 1681 produced a tragedy, Aspar, which was a failure. In 1683
appeared his Dialogues of the Dead, and in 1686 his Entretiens sur la plural'M des Mondes. He also wrote many Eloges.