Suard, Jean Baptiste Antoine
- Julian Rushton
(b Besançon, Jan 15, 1735; d Paris, July 20, 1817). French man of letters. Suard went to Paris in 1750 after a turbulent youth and was introduced into literary circles by Marmontel. In his multifarious activity in philosophy, literature and politics, he was a dramatic censor from 1777 and an administrator of the Opéra from 1781; elected to the Académie Française in 1772, he became its secretary in 1803. He collaborated with La Harpe on the Journal de politique et de littérature (1778–81) and with Arnaud in various journals and the miscellany Variétés littéraires. Suard had a special interest in English literature and philosophy; among his friends were Hume and Walpole, and he translated Richardson’s Clarissa. He began editing the musical part of the Encyclopédie méthodique, published by his brother-in-law Pancoucke; pressure of other interests forced him to relinquish the work to N.E. Framery.
An eager controversialist, Suard is said to have taken music lessons the better to defend Gluck, who appealed to him for support; thus equipped he refuted La Harpe’s criticisms ably and in detail in a series of letters to the ...