Marcel Pagnol

Marcel Pagnol (French pronunciation: [maʁsɛl paɲɔl]; 28 February 1895 – 18 April 1974) was a French novelist, playwright, and filmmaker. In 1946, he became the first filmmaker elected to the Académie Française. Pagnol was born on 28 February 1895 in Aubagne, Bouches-du-Rhône département, in southern France near Marseille, the eldest son of school teacher Joseph Pagnol and seamstress Augustine Lansot. Marcel Pagnol grew up in Marseille with his younger brothers Paul, René, and younger sister Germaine. To his father's amazement, Pagnol learned to read at a young age. His mother, however, did not allow him to touch a book until he was six "for fear of cerebral explosion". In July 1904, the family rented the Bastide Neuve, – a house in the sleepy Provençal village of La Treille – for the summer holidays, the first of many spent in the hilly countryside between Aubagne and Marseille. About the same time, Augustine's health, which had never been robust, began to noticeably decline and on 16 June 1910 she succumbed to a chest infection ("mal de poitrine") and died, aged 36. Joseph remarried in 1912.

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