Antoine de Léris

Antoine de Léris (Mont-Louis, Roussillon, 28 February 1723 — 1795[1]) was a French journalist and drama critic of the 18th century and a historian of the French theatre, author of the Dictionnaire portatif historique et littéraire des théâtres, contenant l'origine des differens théâtres de Paris, ("Portable historical and literary dictionary of theatres, containing the origins of the various theatres of Paris"), published without the author's name on the title page by Jombert in Paris in 1754.The corrected and augmented second edition, 1763, is a standard work of theatre history,[2] a "library" of information.[3] "Léris is accounted by many commentators very nearly the equal of François and Claude Parfaict when it comes to painstaking accuracy and responsible commentary," William Brooks observes.[4]

Antoine de Léris supported himself as a man of letters with a sinecure purchased at the Chambre des comptes, as premier huissier ("first usher").[5] Collaborating with abbé Marc-Antoine Laugier[6] and Antoine Jacques Labbet, abbé de Morambert, he edited the first French review of music,[7] Sentiment d'un harmonophile sur différents ouvrages de musique ("Views of a lover of harmony on different works of music") "Amsterdam", i.e. Paris:Jombert, 1756.[8]

Léris has been credited as the anonymous author of La géographie rendu aisée, ou traitée méthodique pour apprendre la géographie ("Geography rendered easy, or methodical treaty for learning geography"), Paris, 1753.[9]

He also took part in Après-soupers de la campagne ou, Recueil d'Histoires courrantes et amusantes ("Country after-dinner evenings, or collection of current and amusing tales"), 1759 and 1764.[10] Friedrich Melchior Grimm didn't think much of the second collection: "The author claims that the public received his work with indulgence. If perfect oblivion may so be called, the author is right to be grateful".[11]


  1. ^ Dates in Dictionnaire universel, historique, critique et bibliographique, s.v. "Léris (Antoine de)" and in comte d'Haussonville, La duchesse de Bourgogne et l'alliance savoyarde sous Louis XIV, 1901, vol. 2:95 note 3
  2. ^ Searchable on-line text Archived 2008-09-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Philippe Vendrix, Aux origines d'une discipline historique: la musique et son histoire en France, overview of the primary sources in the form of catalogues and dictionaries, 1993:309ff, Léris noted p. 311; see also Anne-Marie Chouillet, François Moureau and Jean Balcou, Dictionnaire des journalistes (1600-1789), 1980:134.
  4. ^ Brooks, "Decrypting the chronology of early French opera" in Philip Tomlinson, ed. French "Classical" Theatre Today: teaching, research, performance 2001:46.
  5. ^ François-Joseph Fétis, Biographie universelle des musiciens, s.v. "Léris, (Antoine de)".
  6. ^ According to Joseph-Marie Quérard, France littéraire, vol. 5:205; the roles of Léris and Morambert were doubted by Fétis, Biographie universelle des musiciens.
  7. ^ Das erste in Frankreigh veröffentlichte Musik-Journal (Wilhelm Freystätter, Die musikalischen zeitschriften seit ihrer entstehung bis zur gegenwart 1884:15f).
  8. ^ Noted in Max Graf, Composer and critic: two hundred years of musical criticism, 1946:164, and in Caroline Wood and Graham Sadler, French Baroque opera: a reader 2000:117; Sentiment d'un harmonophile was reprinted , Geneva:Minkoff, 1972.
  9. ^ Ascribed to Léris in Father P. C. Sommervogel and father P. C. Sommervogel (S.J.), Table méthodique des mémoires de Trévoux (1701-1775) vol.2 1865:161, under cat. no. 6857 and in Ricardo Victorica and José Toribio Medina, Errores y omisiones del Diccionario de anónimos y seudónimos 1928:186.
  10. ^ Dictionnaire universel
  11. ^ L'auteur prétend que le public reçut alors son ouvrage avec indulgence. Si le parfait oubli peut s'appeler ainsi, l'auteur a raison d'être reconnaissant (Grimm, Correspondance littéraire, philosophique et critique February 1763).