Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Author photo. Robert Merle on June 28, 1962 Won The Prix De La Fraternite For His Book L'Ile

Robert Merle on June 28, 1962 Won The Prix De La Fraternite For His Book L'Ile

Robert Merle (1908–2004)

Author of Malevil

Includes the names: R. Merle, Robert Merle, Робер Мерль

MembersReviewsPopularityRatingFavorited   Events   
3,683 (3,743)615,873 (3.98)100
Malevil 533 copies, 16 reviews
Death Is My Trade 394 copies, 5 reviews
The Day of the Dolphin 369 copies, 7 reviews
Fortune de France 304 copies, 13 reviews
The Island 183 copies, 3 reviews
City of Wisdom and Blood 177 copies, 2 reviews
Heretic Dawn 163 copies, 2 reviews
Weekend at Dunkirk 112 copies, 5 reviews
Madrapour 88 copies
Vittoria 74 copies, 1 review
Moncada 15 copies, 1 review
Oscar Wilde 9 copies
Malevil 1 5 copies
Malevil 2 5 copies
No events listed. (add an event)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical name
Legal name
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Other names
Date of birth
Date of death
Burial location
Country (for map)
Place of death
Cause of death
Places of residence
Awards and honors
Short biography
Robert Merle was born in Tébessa, Algeria, then a French colony. After his father, an interpreter, was killed in World War I, his mother moved with him to Paris. There he attended lycée and the Sorbonne, where he earned a doctorate in English literature with a dissertation on Oscar Wilde. He passed the agrégation (civil service exam for teachers) and taught English literature at lycées in Bordeaux, Marseille, and Paris, where he became a friend of Jean-Paul Sartre. In 1939, at the start of World War II, he was conscripted in the French army and worked as an interpreter during the evacuation of British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk. He was captured by the Germans and sent to a POW camp at Dortmund. In 1943, he was repatriated to France. He later used his experiences at Dunkirk in his first novel Week-end à Zuydcoote (Weekend at Zuydcoote, 1949), which was a major success and won the Prix Goncourt. It was adapted into a 1964 film called Weekend at Dunkirk. He went on to write numerous other acclaimed novels including La Mort est mon Métier (Death Is My Trade, 1953), Maleville (1972), and Un Animal doué de raison (A Sentient Animal, 1967), adapted into the 1973 film The Day of the Dolphin. He also wrote a play, Flamineo (1950), based on John Webster's The White Devil; a biography Oscar Wilde (1948); and translations of English works including Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. His series of 13 historical novels known collectively as Fortune de France (1977–2003), set during the religious civil wars of the 16th and 17th centuries, used many of the French speech rhythms and idioms of the period and is considered his masterpiece. The series, which he began at about age 70, made him a household name in France, and led to his being called "the Alexandre Dumas of the 20th century." He married three times, and had six children.
Disambiguation notice

Member ratings

Average: (3.98)
0.5 1
1 11
1.5 2
2 39
2.5 13
3 128
3.5 33
4 243
4.5 49
5 242

Author pictures (8)


(see all 8 author pictures)

Improve this author

Combine/separate works

Author division

Robert Merle is currently considered a "single author." If one or more works are by a distinct, homonymous authors, go ahead and split the author.


Robert Merle is composed of 4 names. You can examine and separate out names.

Combine with…


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 169,989,067 books! | Top bar: Always visible