Eugène Brieux  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Eugène Brieux (January 19, 1858 - December 6, 1932), French dramatist, was born in Paris of poor parents. Two American films by the name Damaged Goods were based on his play Les Avariés (1901), forbidden by the censor, on account of its medical details on STDs, was read privately by the author at the Théâtre Antoine.

More plays

A one-act play, Bernard Palissy, written in collaboration with M. Gaston Salandri, was produced in 1879, but he had to wait eleven years before he obtained another hearing, his Ménage d'artistes being produced by Antoine at the Théâtre Libre in 1890.

His plays are essentially didactic, being aimed at some weakness or iniquity of the social system. Blanchette (1892) pointed out the civic results of education of girls of the working classes; Monsieur de Réboval (1892) was directed against pharisaism; L'Engrenage (1894) against corruption in politics; Les Bienfaiteurs (1896) against the frivolity of fashionable charity; and L'Évasion (1896) satirized an indiscriminate belief in the doctrine of heredity.

Les trois filles de M. Dupont (1897) is a powerful, somewhat brutal, study of the miseries imposed on poor middle-class girls by the French system of dowry; Le Résultat des courses (1898) shows the evil results of betting among the Parisian workmen; La Robe rouge (1900) was directed against the injustices of the law; Les Remplaçantes (1901) against the practice of putting children out to nurse.

Petite amie (1902) describes the life of a Parisian shop-girl.

Later plays are La Couvée (1903, acted privately at Rouen in 1893), Maternité (1904), La Déserteuse (1904), in collaboration with M. Jean Sigaux, and Les Hannetons, a comedy in three acts (1906).

Eugène Brieux died in 1932 and was interred in the Cimetière du Grand Jas in Cannes on the French Riviera.





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