A writer worth rediscovering to understand the soul of our region.

19th century writer

  • Born in Hautefort
  • Author of Jacquou le Croquant
  • Retirement at Montignac-Lascaux

If there's one work in France that has made a lasting impression thanks to its television adaptation, it's the book : Jacquou le Croquant . Many of you visit the Vézère Valley looking for filming locations of this soap opera, in 1969 moved the whole of France. This is the perfect opportunity to discover the Périgord region and its little-known villages, such as Auriac du Périgord, Fanlac or even Château de l'Herm whose owners are working to restore it to its former glory. 

Seeking harmony between man and nature

While Eugène Le Roy may not have had as important a place in French literature as some other 'regionalist' writers, his novels are deeply rooted in the region, with strong characters and well-crafted plots.

Born in 1830 at Hautefort castle where his parents were simple servants, he was placed in the care of a local farmer. His childhood memories will leave a strong mark her works in which future abandoned childrenas in many books of his time. From 1841 to 1847, he studied at the rural school in Hautefort, then in 1848 attended the Brothers' School. in Périgueuxthe capital of Périgord. In 1851, he refused to enter the seminary and became a grocer's clerk in Paris. He was then soldier and tutor. By travelling a lot in the countryside, rubbing shoulders with the farmers, he looks around and heritage. In 1877, he applied for membership of the Périgueux Masonic Lodge, but was not initiated until 1878. From then on, he wrote in local newspapers, notably Republican and anti-clerical articles.

Périgourdins keep in mind the man of lettersthe author of the book Jacquou le Croquant published in 1899, which depicts the farming world which fought against poverty under the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X. Originally published as a serial in the Revue de Paris under the title: " Barade forest "It was not with this work that Eugène Le Roy achieved success. Its adaptation for television French is a historic monument which may well have led to a rediscovery of the author. In 2007, Laurent Boutonnat adapted the novel for the cinema and shot many scenes from the film in the Périgord Noir.

Eugène Leroy conveys partisan views

Another of his books, : Le Moulin du Frau which tells the story of the narrator's life, is also situated in Périgord. This book, published in 1891, is a real lesson in radicalism under the Third Republic. In 1896, he published Mademoiselle de la Ralphie which recounts the downfall of a noblewoman consumed by passion during the July monarchy. In 1899, he published the book The people of Aberoque set in the provincial bourgeoisie under the Second Empire and the Third Republic. In 1900, it was : Little Nicette and Big Snowy and in 1902 : The rustic year in Périgord.

If Eugène Leroy is known as novelistHe has also written extensively for local newspapers (Le Réveil de la Dordogne) Republican and anti-clerical articles. This committed free thinkermember of Freemasonrywas also the author of a pamphlet showing his hostility to the clergy: " A critical study of Christianity ". Many of Eugène Leroy's works can be discovered here in libraries of the Périgord Noir at Bugue or à Montignac - Lascaux.

It takes his retirement to Montignac-Lascaux and refused the Legion of Honour. He died in 1907 and leaves a last book: The enemy of death .

An emblem of the department

Today, Bergerac secondary school, establishments (Salle Eugène Leroy in Le Buguethe media library at Montignac-Lascaux) or a in Hautefort honour the life and work of the famous writer by bearing his name

Gérard Fayolle, former mayor of Le Bugue and vice-president of arts and letters in Périgord, has written extensively about the Dordogne. The Périgord of Jacquou le Croquant which he wrote, brings to life a Périgord that has disappeared and describes a society in the throes of change. It was during his term of office that he gave the writer's name to this Bugu village hall.

Writers from the Périgord are part of our heritage

Whether they were born in Périgord, lived here or spent time here, our department has left its mark on them. From the troubadours onwards, Bertran de Born, Arnaut Daniel in the Renaissance with Pierre de Bourdeille, Montaigne and La Boétie to the present day with Claude Seignolle, Thalie of Molènes, Michel Testut and Martin Walker... they have all left us works that form the narrative identity of our region, stories and little stories that have shaped the Périgord.

Was this content helpful?


Share this content