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PROSPER MÉRIMÉE Carmen Novelist, archaeologist, essayist, and in all three departments one of the greatest masters of French style of his century, Prosper Mérimée was born... More > in Paris on September 23, 1803. The son of a painter, Mérimée was intended for the law, but at the age of twenty-two achieved fame as the author of a number of plays purporting to be translations from the Spanish. From that time until his death at Cannes on September 23, 1870, a brilliant series of plays, essays, novels, and historical and archaeological works poured from his fertile pen. Altogether he wrote about a score of tales, and it is on these and on his "Letters to an Unknown" that Mérimée's fame depends. His first story to win universal recognition was "Colombo," in 1830.< Less

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