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Theophile Gautier

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I can't find much detailed information on Gautier in English on the internet so could anyone help me?

How many ballets did Gautier write the stories for? What were some of Gautier's most famous novels? Any other info? I would be extremely greatful.

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His most famous novels were, as far as I know, "Le roman de la momie", "Le capitaine Fracasse" (which was adapted into several films, the latest one was by Ettore Scola in 1991) and "Mademoiselle de Maupin", and also some short stories like "La morte amoureuse".

Besides "Giselle", he also wrote libretti for "La Péri" (1843 Coralli/ Burgmueller),

"Pâquerette" (1851, Saint-Léon/ Benoist), "Gemma" (1854 Fany Cerrito/ Gabrielli), "Yanko le Bandit" (1858, ?/ Deldevez) and "Sacountala" (1858, Lucien Petipa/ Reyer), I don't know if there are some others. He was (platonically) in love with Carlotta Grisi, and had a long time affair with her elder sister Ernesta (who was a singer), who was the mother of his two daughters, Judith (who became a writer) and Estelle.

Here are a few links in English about Gautier:







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As Estelle said, Théophile Gautier is obviously very famous for his novels, short stories and tales of the fantastic. Maybe "La Morte amoureuse", "Spirite" or "Jettatura" are the most interesting.

But Théophile Gautier is also famous in France as the theorician of Art for Art's sake: he developed his aesthetic ideas in the Preface of "Mademoiselle de Maupin" and in some poems too.

He was also a poet, very much inspired, as many romantic writers, by Spain, a dance critic (and he wrote several stories for ballets like "Giselle" of course), and a playwright (this aspect of his career is absolutely unknown in France).

If you want me to define him aesthetically, I would say he is an heir of romanticism (you will find in his works all the romantic obsessions), but he is also the critic of the romantic movement (as he refuses the idea of committed art: for him, a work of art must not have any social, political, moral... aim).

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I guess I'm going to bring this thread back to life. I, too, have questions on Gautier and his role in the dance world. (I do read French, though, and actually I'm trying to do as much research in French rather than English)


I know that Gautier himself wrote the ballet Giselle for Carlotta. Also, he is credited for having part in Paquita, PAquerette and Don Q....but how? Did he write somethign that contributed to them or how is he associated? Any other ballets he contributed to? I know he was also a critic (when? for whom?)

Giselle, I know he took his inspirtation from a story he read by a german writer about the wilis and from there is born his story of giselle but what abput his other ballets? Do any of his lterary or poetic works have anything to do with the other ballets?

Thanks for any information you can give or point me to

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