Abel Bonnard (19 December 1883 – 31 May 1968) was a French poet, novelist and politician.

Abel Bonnard

Abel Bonnard 1933.jpg
Minister of National Education
In office
25 February 1942 – 20 August 1944
Prime MinisterFrançois Darlan
Pierre Laval
Preceded byJérôme Carcopino
Succeeded byRené Capitant
Member of the Paris Municipal Council
In office
16 December 1942 – 20 August 1944
Constituency16th arrondissement
Member of the National Council
In office
24 January 1941 – 20 August 1944
Appointed byPhilippe Pétain
Personal details
Born(1883-12-19)19 December 1883
Poitiers, Vienne, France
Died31 May 1968(1968-05-31) (aged 84)
Madrid, Spain
Political partyFrench Popular Party
Groupe Collaboration
Alma materUniversity of Paris
Writing career
Period20th century
GenreAutobiography, essay, novel
Literary movementSymbolism
Notable awardsConcours général (1900)
GPLAF (1924)


Born in Poitiers, Vienne, his early education was in Marseilles with secondary studies at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris. A student of literature, he was a graduate of the École du Louvre.

Politically, a follower of Charles Maurras, his views evolved towards fascism in the 1930s. Bonnard was one of the ministers of National Education under the Vichy regime (1942–44). The political satirist Jean Galtier-Boissière gave him the nickname "la Gestapette",[1] a portmanteau of Gestapo and tapette, the latter French slang for a homosexual. The name, along with the homosexual inclinations it implied, became well known.[2] He was a member of the committee of the Groupe Collaboration, an organisation that aimed to encourage closer cultural ties between France and Germany.[3]

Bonnard was one of only a few members expelled from the Académie française after World War II for collaboration with Germany. Bonnard was condemned in absentia to death during the épuration légale period for wartime activities. However, he had escaped to Spain where Francisco Franco granted him political asylum. In 1960, he returned to France to face retrial for his crimes. He received a symbolic sentence of 10 years banishment to be counted from 1945, but dissatisfied with the verdict of guilty, he chose to return to Spain where he lived out the remainder of his life.


  • 1906 Les Familiers
  • 1908 Les Histoires
  • 1908 Les Royautés
  • 1913 La Vie et l'Amour
  • 1914 Le Palais Palmacamini
  • 1918 La France et ses morts
  • 1924 Notes de voyage : En Chine (1920-1921), 2 vol.
  • 1926 Éloge de l'ignorance
  • 1926 La vie amoureuse d'Henri Beyle
  • 1927 L'Enfance
  • 1928 L'Amitié
  • 1928 L'Argent
  • 1929 Saint François d'Assise
  • 1931 Rome
  • 1936 Le drame du présent : Les Modérés
  • 1937 Savoir aimer
  • 1939 L'Amour et l'Amitié
  • 1941 Pensées dans l'action
  • 1992 Ce monde et moi (selection of aphorisms, posthumous)


  1. ^ Olivier Mathieu, Abel Bonnard, une aventure inachevée, Mercure, 1988, p. 188.
  2. ^ Jean-François Louette, Valéry et Sartre, in Bulletin des études valéryennes, éd. L'Harmattan, 2002, p. 105, on line
  3. ^ David Littlejohn, The Patriotic Traitors, Heinemann, 1972, p. 222

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