Adrien Proust, a Father overshadowed by his sons

 PR. ADRIEN PROUST A FATHER OVERSHADOWED BY HIS CHILDREN

 André J. Fabre                     Octobre 2012  jfabrefl@club-Internet.fr

Adrien Proust (1834-1903), is a great French doctor of the nineteenth century. Neurologist by training, he was an advocate of hygiene, discipline still little known in his time, but also the true pioneer of tropical medicine

Adrien was born in a small town near Chartres, Illiers, where his father ran a grocery store, he made a brilliant social career in Paris, becoming Head of department at the Hôpital de l'Hôtel-Dieu, Professor of Hygiene and Inspector-General of International Health Services

He was elected in 1879 member of the Academy of Medicine, becoming later, from 1883 to 1888 Annual Secretary.

A great traveler, he toured  the whole world giving lectures on hygiene, cholera and plague. In 1869, he was receives by the Shah of Persia, after a journey of nearly 15,000 km across Russia and throughout the East.

Important figure in the French Third Republic, his funeral, almost state funeral, were the greatest achievement of a brilliant career crowded with titles and functions. During his life, he had met the most remarkable people of XIXth Century Paris : Alphonse Daudet, Anatole France and Samuel Pozzi amonf many others.

His wife, Jeanne Weil daughter of a wealthy merchant , was parent of some very famous figures  of her time, Adolphe Cremieux and the great philosopher Henri Bergson and also…Karl Marx ... All her life she kept a major role in her family, a model as wife and mother of two sons.

Adrien and Jeanne Proust had two children : Robert, the youngest who  became a doctor like his father, and a prominent oncologist, and Marcel, the oldest son, the greatest writer of his time, whose marginal sensitivity caused so many  problems in the family. However Adrien remained  always a discreet and attentive father.

Although his  undeniable intellectual qualities and his  incredible travel experiences, Adrien Proust remains misunderstood by the posterity. His imposing figure has been unfairly overshadowed by his children.

 

                                                 André J. Fabre                     Octobre 2012 a.fabre.fl@gmail.com

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Date de dernière mise à jour : 29/07/2013

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