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Seymour Arens (Napoleon's World)

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Seymour Phillipe Arens (5 June 1826 - 14 July 1900) was a French philosopher, writer and politician active in the mid-19th century, best known for his 1861 manifesto The Modern State and for his seven novels, which are often regarded as some of the most influential literature in history. Arens was also an unpublished playwright, penning four plays and composing an opera "for fun" but never showing them to anyone as he considered the theater to be beneath him and was uncomfortable with music. Often described as "19th century France's greatest playboy celebrity," Arens is regarded a cultural and historical icon in France for his contributions to literature and political thought, although his brief tenure in the Grand Assembly in the 1870's is mostly forgettable.


Arens' work was often directly influenced by his own life and often extremely opinionated - for example, he wrote the lengthy The Marshal in the course of three and a half weeks in 1856 as a way to settle a score with his archnemesis, State Minister Paul Seychard. His novel The Son (1860) was nearly regarded as slanderous upon publication as it negatively portrayed the Bonaparte family, although Emperor Louis I dismissed slander charges brought against Seychard as the novel portrayed him in a positive light.

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