Pierre Bonrdeilles Brantome, seigneur de l'abbaye de, a French historian, born between 1527 and 1540, died July 5, 1614. Familiar with military life at the headquarters of Francois de Lorraine, second duke de Guise, and on various battle fields where he showed prowess, he had many opportunities of becoming acquainted with the events of the 16th century; and his field of observation was greatly enlarged by extensive travels and by his relations with the court and with literary and general society. He was gentleman in ordinary to Charles IX., shortly after whose death (1574) he retired from the court, after having been for a time chamberlain of Henry III., by whom he was less appreciated than by Charles. He was particularly disappointed at the time of the death of his elder brother Andre (1582), when Henry made the latter's son-in-law seneschal of Perigord, instead of investing Brantome with this office, which up to that period had been hereditary in the Bourdeilles family. In his exasperation he proposed to take service against France with Philip II. of Spain; but he speedily returned home on hearing of the outbreak of civil war, and henceforth lived with his brother's widow and children, preparing works which were published after his death.
His writings are pervaded by a cynical and frivolous spirit, but his style is lucid and attractive, and his acute observations throw much light upon the leading persons and events of his day. The first editions of the Memoires de Pierre Bourdeilles, seigneur de Brantosme, appeared in Leyden (10 vols. 12mo, 1666-7 and 1699), afterward several times reprinted elsewhere (German translation by Alvensleben, 2 vols., Grimma, 1851). Besides his Memoires, he wrote Vies des hommes illustres et des grands capitaines fran-cois et Strangers; the entertaining Dames illustres et dames galantes; and. Anecdotes touchant les duels. Collective editions were published at the Hague (15 vols. 12mo, 1740), and Paris (8 vols. 8vo, 1787). A new edition was included in Petitot's Memoires relatives d Vhis-toire de France, with annotations by L. J. N. de Monmerque (1823), after original MSS. in the national library revised by Brantome himself. Among the biographers of Brantome, besides Monmerque, are Merimee and Lacour (Paris, 1858 et seq.). - Brantome had three brothers and two sisters, the most eminent of whom, especially as a soldier and diplomatist, was the viscount Andre" de Bourdeilles, privy councillor of the king and seneschal and governor of Perigord from 1572 till his death in 1582. His life, military writings, and correspondence with Charles IX., Catharine de' Medici, and Henry III., fill the 8th volume of Monmerque's edition of Brantome's works.