Anatole France (Jacques-Anatole-Francois Thibault) was born in Paris in 1844, the only
son of a book dealer. Working throughout his life in the publishing industry, he also
contributed to various reviews and from 1873 was beginning to focus on his own creative
writing. In 1897 he was elected to the Academic Francaise. The decisive shift in his career
came in his participation in the Dreyfus affair, on behalf of the convicted Jewish officer.
It marked the first stage of his emergence as one of the 'representative men' of his epoch,
and brought about his conversion to socialism. Subsequent works reflect this sharpened
humane concern. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1921. He died in 1924.