Guy de Maupassant was born on August 5, 1850 at Chateau de Miromesnil in France. He was a descendent of a very old French family. As a boy, Maupassant went to school at Yvetot in Normandy, and then attended Lycee at Rouen. During his childhood and youth in Normandy, he picked up a great deal of experiences that he later put to use in many of his writings.
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When Maupassant was eleven years old, his parents got separated. This was probably the most significant events in his life in that his mother retained custody of him. His mother was the sister of a close friend of Flaubert, one of the most famous nineteenth-century writers. She turned to Flaubert for advice on him. Flaubert began tutoring him on various subjects, mainly writing. Maupassant’s association with Flaubert brought him into the French literary circles. Even though Maupassant was often a member of gatherings which included such famous writers such as Flaubert, Turgenev, Zola, and Daudet, he had little interest at the time for a career of writing for himself. As an adolescent he was much more interested in sports than writing, especially rowing.
Maupassants education was interrupted by the Franco-Prussian War, in which he served as a member of the French army. After the war was finished, he entered the French civil service. He first served with the Ministry of Navy and later with the Ministry of Public Institution. During the between 1873 and 1880 he also served as a literary apprentice under Flaubert. At this time, Maupassant realized his weakness as a poet and concentrated on developing his skills as a writer of prose fiction. Maupassant wrote a collection of short stories that were published with writers such as Bola, and Huysmans. Maupassant work outshone all the others by far. This is Maupassant became recognized as a writer. He became one of the most famous and well paid French authors of his time. In the years 1984 through 1985 he produced a great number of high caliber fiction. Most of these stories dealt with his experiences as a child in Normandy.
During 1886-1887 Maupassant began to show signs of mental illness, probably the results of venereal disease. A sea voyage to improve his health enabled him to make some gains toward recovery. He was overtaken by paralysis and severe hallucinations due to syphilis. He died in Paris on July 6, 1893.
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