Jules Michelet, a French historian, born in Paris, Aug. 21, 1798, died at Hyeres, Feb. 9, 1874. He studied in the college Charlemagne, and after travelling in Germany was called in 1821 to the chair of history in the college Rollin, where he was also professor of the ancient languages and of philosophy till 1826, publishing in that period his Tableau chrono-logique de l'histoire moderue (1825), and Tableaux synchroniques de l'histoire moderns (1826). In 1827 he was made maitre des conferences in the normal school, and in 1830 chief of the historical section of the archives of France. In that year Guizot, who was diverted from literature to politics, chose him to continue his lectures in the faculty of letters. His reputation was extended by a series of historical works, and in 1838 he was appointed to the chair of history in the college de France, and elected a member of the institute. Among his publications are: Precis de l'histoire moderue (1828); Lntroduction d l'histoire universelle (1831); a translation of Vico's Scienza nuova, under the title of Principes de la philosophic de Vhistoire (1831); Histoire romaine (1831); Memoires de Luther (1833); and Precis de Vhistoire de France jusqu'd la revolution fran-caise (1833). In 1833 appeared the first portion of his most important work, the Histoire de France (16 vols. 8vo, completed in 1867). His academical lectures were distinguished for appeals in favor of democratic ideas and for assaults upon the Jesuits. He embodied these tendencies in three books: Des Jesuites (1843), in collaboration with Quinet; Dupretre, de la femme et de la famille (1844); and Du peu-ple (1846). The government of Louis Philippe suspended bis course.
He was restored to bis chair after the revolution of 1848, again declined public office as he bad done in 1830, and gave to bis lectures the design and character of democratic propagandism, till his course was closed by the government of Louis Napoleon in Mareh,1851. He lost his place in the archives after the coup d'etat of Dec. 2, 1851. by refusing to take the oath. He published the Proces des templiers (2 vols., 1841-'52), a collection of imprinted documents, and Origines du droit francais cherchees dans les gymboles et for mules du droit universel (1837), founded upon Grimm's work on German antiquities. After bis retirement he published a series of volumes entitled DOiseau (1856), L'Insert, (1857), L'Amour (1858), and Lafem-w(1859), remarkable for their poetical and suggestive speculations. The last two were translated into English by J. W. Palmer, M.D (New York, 1859 and 1860). The Histoire de la revolution francaise (6 vols., 1847-'53), and Les femmes de la revolution (1854), form distinct works.
His later works are: La sorciere (1862): La Pohgne martyre (1863); La Bible de l'hnmanite (1864); La Montague (1868); Nos fils, advocating compulsory education (1869); and Histoire du XIXme siecle (1872). His more important publications have all appeared in English. - His second wife, Atha-naIse Michelet, who survives him, had been a teacher in St. Petersburg. She opened a correspondence with him arising from her ardent admiration of his ideas, and they became engaged before they had seen each other. She assisted him in bis labors, and was preparing a new work, La nature, at the time of his death.