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


Froissart, Jean, born at Beaumont, near Valenciennes, about 1337. his ancestors being of the bourgeois class. At. what precise time lie became a cleric cannot be ascertained. It was as a layman that he was sent, at the age of eighteen, to the court, of Queen Philippa in England, whither lie returned again in 1361, after diplomatic errands to Avignon and Paris. He appears to have been a favourite with Edward III.'s romantic queen, who encouraged his literary tastes and sent liim to Scotland with a view to collecting materials for his rhymed chronicles. On his return he became secretary to the captive King John of France, and began to store up that curious fund of gossipy information which was to delight and "instruct posterity. Leaving England in 1366, he went to Brussels, to Brittany, and to Bordeaux, everywhere "interviewing" the chief actors in the great events of the day. He accompanied the Black Prince as far as Dax, but, being entrusted with a mission to England, formed part of the retinue that escorted Lionel of Clarence to Milan, travelling thither with Chaucer and meeting Petrarch at the wedding-feast. Thence he passed to Bologna, where he joined the suite of Peter, King of Cyprus, and visited Venice, going on later to Rome, where the news of Queen Philippa's deatli gave him n deep shock. He now made his way back to his own country, and found new patrons in Yolande de Bar and the Duke of Brabant. For some years he settled down as a country priest in the village of Lestines, near Buiche, but. falling in with Gui. Count of Blois, was induced by him to set seriously to work on a prose history of his times, and ultimately received from his protector a canonry at Chi'may. Iu 1386 he accompanied Gui to Blois, and journeyed next to Sluys in order to witness the preparations for a naval attack on England, and to gather matter for the Flemish part of his history. At the age of 51, but full of vigour and spirits, he set out for a tour through Berry, Auvergne, and Languedoc, ultimately attaching himself at Orthez to the generous and brilliant Gaston Phoebus, Count of Foix. On his way back to Valenciennes, where he completed his fourth book, he was present at the marriage of the Duc de Berri with Jeanne de Bourbon and at the reception of Isabeau of Bavaria in Paris. Gui de Blois had now fallen into poverty and evil habits; so Froissart transferred his allegiance to Robert of Namur, to whom he dedicated his Chronicles. After forty years' absence, he visited England once more, to find all his old friends gone, but to make a new one in Richard II. and to glean much useful information. He reappeared in France just before the Comte de Nevers set forth on his abortive crusade, the story of which forms almost the last chapter of the Chronicle, though the closing words recount the death of Richard II. in 1400. After this the fate of the historian himself becomes obscure. Tradition asserts that he died in utter poverty ten years later at Chimay, and was buried in the church of St. Monegunda. Froissart took more pride, no doubt, in his poetry than in his prose, but the samples of his verse that have been published hardly commend themselves to the critical taste of later generations. His prose style, on the other hand, is remarkably vivid, simple, and effective, whilst the picture that he gives of the men and manners of the 14th century is unrivalled in accuracy and good faith.