Fontenelle, Bernard le Bovier de

Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle, French author, 1657-1757

Together with Pierre Payle, Fontenelle counts among the most important French writers of early Enlightenment, linking the two very different literary epochs represented by Corneille, Racine, and Boileau on the one hand and by Voltaire, d’Alembert, and Diderot on the other. He was the first in France to embody the type of "philosophe" so important to the period of Enlightenment.