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Taine

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TAINE, tan, Hippolyte Adolphe, French critic and historian: b. Vouziers, Ardennes, 21 April 1828; d. Paris, 5 March 1893. He was educated at the College Bourbon and the Ecole Normale,.Paris, was assigned by the govern ment, which thought his talent dangerous, to a provincial post as instructor, but resigned this and devoted himself to literature, writing in quick succession (Essai sur La Fontaine' (1853; rev. ed. 1860), (Essai sur Tite Live' (1854) and (Philosophes Francais du XIXe Sickle' (1856). In 1864 he was appointed to a professorship in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, where his series of lectures on the history of art were patterns of philosophical criticism. The dissolution of the empire and the attendant troubles directed him to the study of the philosophy of history and in connection therewith he wrote his (Orig ines de la France contemporaine ((Ancien Regime,' 1876, (Revolution,' 1878-84, (Re gime Moderne,) 1890— unfinished), a work of great erudition, in which he condemns the royalists, but finds their gravest faults repeated by the republicans and malces his bitterest at-, tack on Napoleon. Thus he alienated all par ties, holding all responsible for the disasters di the *Terrible Year.* A work more familiar to readers in the United States and England is his (Hiscoire de la litterature anglaise' (1864; Eng. trans., by Van Laun). The brilliancy of this performance is unquestioned, but the jus tice of its method has been much discussed and while Taine became the founder of a cult in France, he found in England and America no imitators of importance. Literary criticism, asthetics and psycholog.y were to him sciences as exact as chemistry; he treated them with a laboratory style of analysis and deduction. *Little facts, well-chosen, important, significant, amply substantiated, minutely noted*—suc.h, in his own words, he made his material. *The whole world,* .said Bourget, °seemed to Taine matter for intellectual exploitation.* Taine

judged all products of the human mind by the three inflexible standards of race, epoch and surroundings and these he manipulated as if they were mathematical formulw. He quite disregarded the factor of individuality and re duced everything to that rigorous systematiza tion which drew protest from Amid. He suc ceeded in pointing out certain things Which no other historian had noted, but dogrnatized to a degree no longer regarded as permissible. (See ORIGINS OF CONTEMPORARY FRANCE). Taine's other published works include (Essais de critique et d'histoire (1857); (Ecrivains ac tuels de l'Angleterre (1863) ; 'Ideali.7ine an (1t364), a study of Carlyle; (Positivism anglais) (1864), a study of John Stuart Mill; (Nouveaux essais de critique et d'histoire) (1865); (Philosophie de Part> (1865) ; (Phi losophic de l'art en Italie' (1866) ; 'Voyage en Italie' (1866); (Notes sur Paris, ou vie et opinions de M. Frederic-Thomas Graindorge' (1867); (L'Ideal dans l'are (1867), lectures deliVered at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts; (Philos ophie de l'art dans les Pays-Bas) (1868); (Philosophie de l'art en Grece) (1870); (Du suffrage universe]) (1871); (Notes sur l'An gleterre) (1871), a work of considerable value; (Derniers essais de critique et d'histoire (1894) and (Carnets de voyage: notes sur la Province) (1897). Taine was created hono rary D.C.L. of Oxford in 1871 and in 1878 he was elected a member of the French Acad emy. Consult Monod, (Les maitres de toire' (1894) ; Lemaitre, (Les contemporains); De Margerie, (H. Tame' (1894) ; Boutmy, M. E., (Taine, Scherer, Laboulaye) (Paris 1901); Giraud, V., (Hippolyte Taine) (ib. 1901) ; Aulard, A., (Tame, historien de la Revolution francaise' (Paris 1907); Gummere, F. B., (Democracy and Poetry' (Boston 1911).