(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

Colton, Robert E. Studies of Classical Influence on Boileau and La Fontaine. Hildesheim, Germany: G. Olms, 1996. Assesses the influence of Horace on Boileau-Despréaux’s sixth, seventh, and eighth satires and some of his other work.

Corum, Robert T. Reading Boileau: An Integrative Study of the Early “Satires.” West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press, 1998. An analysis of the first nine satires, discussing their sources, genesis, relation to each other, coherence, and continuity. Corum argues that Boileau-Despréaux was a gifted poet and not a mere “versifier.”

Haight, Jeanne. The Concept of Reason in French Classical Literature: 1635-1690. Toronto, Ont.: University of Toronto Press, 1982. Examines Boileau-Despréaux’s efforts to associate reason with socially accepted behavior in seventeenth century France. Describes the connection between aesthetics and sociology in Boileau-Despréaux’s writing.

Moriarty, Michael. Taste and Ideology in Seventeenth-Century France. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988. Explores the connection between Boileau-Despréaux’s literary taste and his political ideology. Explains why Boileau-Despréaux’s association of taste with an admiration for high culture caused him to reject representations of popular culture.

Pocock, Gordon. Boileau and the Nature of Neo-Classicism. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1980. Examines the general themes and structures in the satires. Stresses Boileau-Despréaux’s creative imitation of Horace and other classical Roman satirists.

White, Julian E. Nicolas Boileau. New York: Twayne, 1969. Introduction to Boileau-Despréaux’s literary career and a fine annotated bibliography of important critical studies on his work. Examines his satires within the classical tradition of comedy of manners and describes Boileau-Despréaux’s originality as a satiric poet.

Yarrow, P. J. The Seventeenth Century: 1600-1715. Vol. 2 in A Literary History of France. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1967. Traces the general evolution of French neoclassical literature during the seventeenth century. The chapter on Boileau-Despréaux describes the unity of his aesthetic and moral vision as expressed in his satires and in his theoretical writings.