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Edmond François Valentin About Passed Away

Today in Masonic History Edmond François Valentin About passed away in 1885.

Edmond François Valentin About was a French novelist and writer.

About was born on February 14th, 1828 in Dieuze a commune in the Northeast part of France. In 1848 he entered École Normale a higher education establishment created after the French Revolution. It's purpose was to train a new generation of professors trained in the critical spririt and secular values of the Enlightenment. It is said at the school one of his professors told him he was never anything more than a "little Voltaire." After leaving École Normale he joined the French School in Athens. In 1853, he returned to France.

About made his name as an entertaining anti-clerical writer. Many of his stories were stairical in nature and in the literary style of a farce. His most famous novel is Le Roi des montagnes (The King of the Mountains). Most of his books followed events of the time and looked at them through About's satirical lens.

In 1855, About wrote Tolla a story about a young Parisian actress which many felt drew to heavily on an Italian novel. He gained more negative attention when he wrote a series of letters to the paper Le Figaro.

Over the next sevearl years About wrote a variety of plays, novels and stories. One in particular was a pamphlet-book he wrote about the Roman Question, a power dispute between the Pope and the King of Italy.

Later in life About tried to go into politics and was unsuccessful.

About passed away on January 16th, 1885.

About is listed on many websites and published books as a Freemason. His actual lodge affiliation is unknown at this time.