JEAN FRANCOIS CASIMIR DELAVIGNE (1793-1843), French poet and dramatist, was born on the 4th of April 1793 at Havre.
This event was celebrated by Delavigne in a Dithyrambe sur la naissance du roi de Rome, which secured for him a sinecure in the revenue office.
Delavigne, inspired by the catastrophe of 1815, wrote two impassioned poems, the first entitled Waterloo, the second, Devastation du musee, both written in the heat of patriotic enthusiasm, and teeming with popular political allusions.
Twenty-five thousand copies were sold; Delavigne was famous.
The latter piece-obtained a longer lease of life than its intrinsic literary merits warranted, on account of the popularity of the political opinions freely expressed in it - so freely expressed, indeed, that the displeasure of the king was incurred, and Delavigne lost his post.
Accordingly Delavigne became librarian at the Palais Royal, a position retained during the remainder of his life.
For his success as a writer Delavigne was in no small measure indebted to the stirring nature of the times in which he lived.
Other works of Delavigne followed each other in rapid succession - Louis XI (1832), Les Enfants d'Edouard (1833), Don Juan d'Autriche (1835), Une Famille au temps du Luther (1836), La Popularite (1838), La Fille du Cid (1839), Le Conseiller ra p porteur (1840), and Charles VI (1843), an opera partly written by his brother.
By many of his own time Delavigne was looked upon as unsurpassed and unsurpassable.
His CEuvres completes (new edition, 1855) contains a biographical notice by his brother, Germain Delavigne, who is best known as a librettist in opera.
Favrot, Etude sur Casimir Delavigne (1894); and F.
Vuacheux, Casimir Delavigne (1893).