Mercier, Louis-Sebastien (1740-1814)

French man of letters.

Began his career as a novelist, dramatist, and translator. Also published historical, political, and philosophical works, including the prophetic novel L’An 2440 (1770).

In Du théâtre, ou, Nouvel essai sur l’art dramatique (1773), Mercier called on writers to reject classical forms and instead create accurate representations of ordinary people from all walks of life. Represented Seine-et-Oise at the National Convention. Member of the Council of Five Hundred (1795). Contrôleur of the lottery (1797). Professor of history at the Ecole centrale.