Alphonse Marie Louis de Lamartine was borne in Milly to a provincial landed family. He
became a leading romantic poet but combined poetry with politics becoming leader of the
provisional government in 1848 whilst supporting his five younger sisters even after
He attended school first at Lyons and subsequently at a Jesuit college graduating in 1808
to lead a quiet and studious life at home but travelled to Italy and subsequently Paris
where he studied Jean-Jaques Rousseau and Madame de Stael and began his writing career
with plays and poetry.
His love for Julie Charles whom he met in 1816 was expressed in his best known poem "Le Lac"
after she died of consumption (TB) within a few months.
After a diplomatic appointment at Naples he married Mary-Ann Birch who bore a son who died
early and a daughter Julia who died in childhood.
He pursued his political career becoming a deputy in 1833 and increasingly sympathetic to
the republican cause whilst, in his successful writing career, he sought to idealise
country life and dedication to duty and sacrifice.