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Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
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    (May 10, 1760-June 26, 1836)
    Born in Lons-le-Saunier, France
    French army engineer
    Wrote the words and music for ‘La Marseillaise’ (1792)
    The last part of his name is also spelled ‘de l’Isle’ and ‘de Lile.’
    Encyclopedia Britannica wrote that he ‘never wrote anything else of significance.’
    Although he was a royalist, his song was adopted as the national anthem by the Revolutionary government.
    For extra irony, when the monarchy was restored under Louis XVIII, his song was banned.
    He died broke.
    He came close to being guillotined during the Reign of Terror, but was released from prison after Robespierre’s arrest and execution.
    He was named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor (1831).
    ’La Marseillaise’ was restored as the national anthem of France (1879).
    British historian Simon Schama called ’La Marseillaise’ ‘the greatest national anthem in the world, ever. Most national anthems are pompous, brassy, ceremonious, but this is genuinely thrilling.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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