Author. Went to Martinique with his uncle (c. 1749). Following his return to France, he studied with the Jesuits at Caen and at the Ecole des ponts at chaussées. Embarked on a series of adventures throughout Europe and suffered several disappointments. Served as a captain of engineers on l’Ile de France (1769-1771). Returned to Paris.
Author of Voyage à l’Ile de France (1773). A close friend of Rousseau. His Etudes de la Nature (1784) was well received, and brought him his first success as an author. His best known work, Paul et Virginie, was published in 1787. Named intendant of the Jardin royal and the Cabinet d’histoire naturelle. During the French Revolution, was named professeur de morale at the Ecole normale. Member of the Institut national.
Born at Le Havre. Elder brother of Joseph- Nicolas Saint-Pierre Dutaillis, who briefly served as a captain of engineers in the American service.