Pierre de Marivaux

1688 (Paris) – 1763 (Paris)

Marivaux, one of the most influential 18th C French dramatists, is best known for his comedies (his use of language, disparaged by Voltaire and others, is now understood as both subtle and complex). Meeting Fontenelle was pivotal in his career. Maupertuis and Montesquieu were both friends, while Helvétius helped fund his work (he had lost his money in a bank-collapse). Garrick, on a visit to France, met him in his last year. Among salon acquaintances, Crébillon criticised his writing and Marmontel disliked his need for attention. Rousseau got the more experienced Marivaux to ‘retouch’ an immature play.