French author; born at Chaumont-en-Vexin, department of the Oise, France, Oct. 9, 1823. After a brief course in medicine at the University of Paris, he, in 1850, abandoned his studies to devote himself exclusively to literature. Beginning as journalist, he became successively poet, novelist, and dramatic author.
Among Avenel's dramatic works, which number more than fifty, are: "Les Chasseurs de Pigeons," farce-comedy in three acts, produced at the Folies Dramatiques in 1860; "La Paysanne des Abruzzes," drama in five acts, written in collaboration with H. de Charlieu and produced at the Théâtre Beaumarchais in 1861; "Sayez donc Concierge," farce-comedy, produced at the Folies Dramatiques in 1861; "Un Homme sur le Gril," farce-comedy, produced at the Théâtre des Variétés; "L'Homme à la Fourchette," one-act comedy, 1874; "Les Plaisirs du Dimanche," comedy in five acts; "Le Saint Pierre," drama in five acts; "Mimi-Chiffon," comedy in four acts; "Le Beau Maréchal"; "Le Pavéd'Or," and the lyric comedy, "L'Antichambre en Amour."
Of Avenel's novels and short stories the following are noteworthy: "Le Coin de Feu," 1849; "Les Tablettes d'un Fou, ou le Voyage Entre Deux Mondes," 1852, and "Les Etudiants de Paris," reminiscences of the Latin Quarter; "Le Roi de Paris," 1860; "Le Duc des Moines," 1864, and "Les Lipans, ou les Brigands Normands," 1868, three historical novels of the time of the League; "Les Prussiens à Bougival," a collection of stories of the Franco-Prussian war; "Une Amie Dévouée, Mœurs Parisiennes," 1884, a Parisian novel; "Le Docteur Hatt," a novel of a philosophical character, 1887; and "Les Calicots," scenes of real life, first published as a novel in 1866, and afterward dramatized.
As an author of poems and verse, Paul Avenel has published "Chansons de Paul Avenel," 1875; "Chants et Chansons Politiques," 1869-72—in the 8th edition, 1889, figure the most prominent political occurrences from 1848 to 1860; "Alcôve et Boudoir," a collection of verses, 1855, which was at once suppressed by the French courts. Thirty years later Quantin published an édition de luxe of the condemned verses.
Avenel is a member of the following societies: Société des Gens de Lettres; Société des Auteurs Dramatiques; Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs, et Editeurs de Musique, of which he was president from 1878 to 1881; and Lice Chansonnière, over which he presided from 1892 to 1894. He is also an honorary member of the Caveau Séphanois, at Saint Etienne.
- Dictionnaires Départementaux (Département de l'Oise);
- La Grande Encyclopédie, s.v.;
- Vapereau, Dictionnaire Universel des Contemporains, Paris, 1893;
- Gubernatis, Dictionnaire International des Écrivains du Jour, Florence, 1888-91.