Georges Ohnet

Georges Ohnet (3 April 1848, in Paris – 5 May 1918) was a French novelist.

Georges Ohnet (c.1905)

Life and careerEdit

Ohnet was educated at the Collège Sainte-Barbe and the Lycée Napoléon.[1] After the Franco-Prussian War he became editor of the magazines Pays and Constitutionnel in succession. In collaboration with the engineer and dramatist Louis Denayrouze (b. 1848) he produced the play Regina Sarpi, and during 1877 Marthe.

Ohnet was an admirer of Georges Sand and was opposed to realistic modern novels. He began a series of novels, Les Batailles de la vie, of a character simple and idealistic, which, although scorned by the critics as unreal and commonplace, were very popular. The series included the novels Serge Panine (1881) which was awarded by the academy; Le Maître de forges (1882), La Grande Marnière (1885), Volonté (1888), and Dernier Amour (1891). Many of his novels have been dramatized with great success, Le Maître de forges, produced at the Gymnase during 1883, being played for an entire year. His later publications include Le Crépuscule (1902), Le Marchand de Poison (1903), La Conquérante (1905), La dixième muse (1906). In 1902 he was elected president of the Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques.[1]


Ohnet's understanding of his readership helped him devise the passionate style for which he became famous. He disdained the romantic melodrama motif, choosing instead to explore complex passion. His literary genius was in being able to introduce originality into a genre so greatly archetypal as the romantic melodrama. It was this quality that made him one of the most widely read authors of his time.[2]


Ohnet's magnum opus was the novel Le Maître de forges (The Master Of The Forges, 1882). The book became an instant success, finding wide acceptance not only among French readers but also readers in other parts of Europe. Soon after its publication, it was translated into Spanish by the Filipino writer Codorníu Julia.[2]

Ohnet enjoyed success with his other works too. Countess Sarah (1882), Lise Fleuron (1884), The Ladies of Croix-Mort (1886), Will (1888), Dr. Rameau (1889), Serge Panine (1890) and At The Bottom of The Abyss (1899), the last of these regarded commonly as one of his best works.[2]


Le Maître de forges (Hungarian edition, 1890s)
La serre de l'Aigle (Hungarian edition, 1913)


  1. ^ a b "OHNET, Georges". Who's Who. Vol. 59. 1907. p. 1327.
  2. ^ a b c "Georges Ohnet". Biographies & Lives. Retrieved 29 January 2014.

External linksEdit