A writer to rediscover to understand the soul of our region.

19th century writer

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

If there is a work in France that has left its mark thanks to its television adaptation, it is the book: Jacquou the Crunch . Many of you visit the Vézère Valley wanting to find filming locations of this soap opera which, in 1969. had moved all of France. This is the opportunity to explore Périgord and little-known villages like Auriac of Périgord, Fanlac or even Herm Castle whose owners are working to restore its former soul. 

Search for harmony between man and nature

If Eugène Le Roy did not, like certain “regionalist” writers, have a very important place in French literature, his novels are deeply anchored in the region with strong characters and very elaborate plots.

Born in 1830 au Hautefort castle where his parents were simple servants, he was placed in foster care with a local peasant woman. His childhood memories will mark strongly his works futures in which abound abandoned children, as in many books of his time. From 1841 to 1847, he studied at the rural school of Hautefort then in 1848 attended the School of Brothers in Périgueux, capital of Périgord. In 1851, he refused the seminary and became a grocer's clerk in Paris. It is then soldier and tutor. By traveling a lot in the countryside, by rubbing shoulders with farmers, he observes the places et the patrimony. In 1877, he applied for admission to the Masonic lodge of Périgueux but he was not initiated there until 1878. From that moment on he wrote in local newspapers, notably republican and anticlerical articles.

The Périgourdins remember the man of letters, the author of the book Jacquou the Crunch published in 1899 which depicts the peasant world who fought against poverty under the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles The Barade forest », it was not with this work that Eugène Le Roy achieved success. Its television adaptation French is a historical monument which perhaps allowed us to rediscover the author. In 2007, Laurent Boutonnat adapted this novel for the cinema and shot many scenes from the film. in Périgord Noir.

Eugène Leroy conveys partisan opinions

Customized in a realistic setting, another of his books: The Frau Mill which tells the story of the narrator's life is also located in Périgord. In this book published in 1891, we can detect a real lesson in radicalism under the Third Republic. In 1896, he published Miss Ralphie which tells of the decline of a girl from the nobility devoured by passion during the July Monarchy. In 1899 he published the book The people of Aberoque whose history is 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 novelist, he also wrote extensively for local newspapers (The Awakening of the Dordogne) republican and anticlerical articles. This free thinker, committed, member of Freemasonry, is also the author of a pamphlet showing his hostility to the clergy: “ Critical study of Christianity ". Many works by Eugène Leroy are to be discovered in libraries from Périgord Noir in particular au Buggy ou à Montignac – Lascaux.

He takes his retirement at Montignac-Lascaux and refuses the Legion of Honor. He died in 1907 and leaves one last work: The enemy of death .

An emblem of the department

Today, Bergerac college, The establishments (Eugène Leroy Room at Bugue, the library in Montignac-Lascaux) or even a space in Hautefort honor the life and work of the famous writer bearing his name

Gérard Fayolle, former mayor of Le Bugue and vice-president of arts and letters of Périgord, has written extensively about the Dordogne. The Périgord of Jacquou le Croquant of which he is the author, brings back to life this disappeared Périgord and describes a society in the midst of change. It was during his mandate that he attributed the name of the writer to this Bugue village hall.

The writers of Périgord are part of the heritage

Whether they were born in Périgord, whether they lived or stayed there, our department has left its mark on them. Since the troubadours, Bertran de Born, Arnaut Daniel during the Renaissance with Pierre de Bourdeille, Montaigne et La Boetie up to the present day with Claude Seignolle, Thalie of Molènes, Michel Testut et Martin walker…all have left us works which form the narrative identity of our region, stories and little stories which have shaped Périgord.

Was this content useful to you?