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The Life and Travels of Xavier Marmier (1808-1892)Bringing World Literature to France$
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Wendy S Mercer

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263884

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263884.001.0001

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Star Status: Rennes and Spitzbergen (1839)

Star Status: Rennes and Spitzbergen (1839)

(p.143) 8 Star Status: Rennes and Spitzbergen (1839)
The Life and Travels of Xavier Marmier (1808-1892)

Wendy S. Mercer

British Academy

On 18 September 1838, while Marmier was still in Sweden, he was appointed, in his absence, to the newly created chair of Foreign Literature at the University of Rennes. This was one of a number of new posts created in an expansion of provincial universities by an initiative of the Ministre de l'Instruction publique, Salvandy. Once back with his parents in Bourgfeld, Marmier learned with great satisfaction that Salvandy would allow him to spend the remainder of the year on sabbatical in Paris. After becoming bored with his post, he urged Gaimard to organise a new expedition. In his expedition in Spitzbergen, the things that struck Marmier most during his contacts with the local population were their hospitality, their honesty, their physical beauty, and their terrible poverty. On the whole, his comments about them are sympathetic and positive, although he condemns the treatment of animals there.

Keywords:   University of Rennes, Sweden, Salvandy, La Recherche, Spitzbergen

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