1798 Born in Paris. 16 rue de Tracy, near the Porte Saint-Denis. Father a master printer; mother, Angélique-Constance Millet, from a well-to-do peasant family in Renwez (Ardennes).
1808 Father imprisoned for debt.
1808-09 Works in his father’s printing shop.
1812-18 Student at Collège (now Lycée) Charlemagne.
1815 Death of his mother.
1816 Baptised. Wins three prizes in the Concours général, a national competition for students in the penultimate and final classes of colleges and lycées.
1817 Baccalauréat. Assistant teacher at Institution Briand.
1819 Doctorat ès Lettres.
1821 Passes Agrégation, a competitive examination that entitles those who have passed it to teach in public institutions of higher education.
1822 Professor of History at Collège Sainte Barbe in Paris.(1822-1827)
1824 Marriage to Pauline Rousseau (20 May); birth of daughter Adèle (28 August). Encouraged by his teacher, Victor Cousin, undertakes to translate Vico’s La Scienza nuova.
1825 Makes the acquaintance of Edgar Quinet through Victor Cousin. Tableau chronologique de l’Histoire de France.
1826 Applies for chair at École Normale. Tableau synchronique de l’Histoire Moderne.
1827 Apppointed Professor of Philosophy and History at École Normale. Principes de la Philosophie de l’Histoire (his translation of Vico). Précis de l’Histoire Moderne, vol. 1.
1828 Travels to Germany. Appointed tutor to the Princesse de Berry, grand-daughter of Charles X, the last Bourbon king. Précis de l’Histoire Moderne, vol. 2.
1829 Birth of Michelet’s son Charles.
1830 Travels in Italy. July Revolution. Charles X flees and Louis-Philippe assumes the throne. Michelet appointed Head of the History Section of the Archives Nationales. Also appointed tutor to Princesse Clémentine, youngest daughter of Louis-Philippe.
1831 Introduction à l’Histoire Universelle. Histoire romaine, vols. I, II.
1833 Précis de l’Histoire de France. Histoire de France, vols. I, II (until 1270).
1834-35 Serves as substitute professor at the Sorbonne for François Guizot, who had been appointed Minister of Education.
1834 Travels to England.
1835 Mémoires de Luther.
1837 Travels to Belgium and Holland. Histoire de France, vol. III (1270-1380).
1837 Origines du droit français.
1838 Appointed Professor at Collège de France. Gives up his position at the École Normale. Elected to Académie des Sciences morales et politiques. Visits Venice.
1839 Visits Lyon. Death of Pauline.
1840 Establishes a relationship with Mme Dumesnil; becomes colleague of Polish Romantic and national poet Adam Mickiewicz on latter’s appointment to Chair of Slavic Literature at Collège de France. Travels to Belgium. Histoire de France, vol. IV (1380-1422).
1841 Edgar Quinet appointed Professor of Languages and Literatures of Southern Europe at Collège de France. Michelet, Quinet and Mickiewicz close colleagues and friends. Procès des Templiers, vol. I. Collection de documents inédits sur l’histoire de France. Histoire de France, vol. V (Joan of Arc).
1842 Death of Mme Dumesnil. Travels to Germany.
1843 Michelet resigns from his position as tutor to the royal princesses. His daughter Adèle marries his favorite student, Alfred Dumesnil, the son of his former lover. Travels to Switzerland.
1843 Les Jésuites, written in collaboration with Edgar Quinet.
1844 Histoire de France, vol. VI (Louis XI).
1845 Clerical campaign directed against Michelet’s teaching at Collège de France.
1845 Du prêtre, de la femme et de la famille.
1846 Death of Michelet’s father, who had lived with him since the death of his mother in 1815. Le Peuple.
1847 Histoire de la Révolution française, vols. I, II.
1848 Michelet’s course at Collège de France suspended on charge of fomenting revolutionary unrest. Revolution of February 1848. Michelet’s course reinstated in triumph in March. Athénaïs Mialaret arrives in Paris with intention of being Michelet’s disciple. Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte elected President of France’s Second Republic in December.
1849 Marriage of Michelet and Athénaïs Mialaret.
1849 Histoire de la Révolution française, vol. III.
1850 Birth and death of the Michelets’ infant son, given the name Yves-Jean-Lazare.
1850 Histoire de la Révolution française, vol. IV.
1851 Anti-government demonstrations among students at Michelet’s lectures. Michelet’s course suspended. Coup d’état of Napoleon, who becomes Napoleon III.
1851 Procès des Templiers, vol. II.
1851 Histoire de la Révolution française, vol
1851 Histoire de la Révolution française, vol. V.
1852 Michelet refuses to swear oath of allegiance to Napoleon III and is dismissed from his positions at the Collège de France and at the Archives Nationales.
1853-54 The Michelets go into exile in Italy (Nervi, Genoa, Turin).
1853 Histoire de la Révolution française, vol. VI.
1854 The Michelets return to Paris but are henceforth frequently absent from the capital—both in the French provinces and abroad, chiefly in Switzerland. Légendes démocratiques du Nord. Les Femmes de la Révolution.
Death of Michelet’s daughter Adèle.
Histoire de France, vols. VII (Renaissance) and VIII (Reformation).
Histoire de France, vols. IX (Wars of Religion) and X (The League).
L’Oiseau. (First of several highly successful books on topics of natural history. Having no official post, Michelet now has to earn a living from his writing).
1857 Histoire de France, vol. XI (Henri IV).
1857 Histoire de France.
1858 Histoire de France, vol. XII (Louis XIII).
1859 La Femme.
1860 Histoire de France, vol. XIII (Louis XIV).
1861 La Mer.
Death of Michelet’s son Charles, who never amounted to much and to whom he was never close,
Histoire de France, vol. XIV (Louis XIV).
1863 Histoire de France, vol. XV (Regency of Duc d’Orléans).
1864 La Bible de l’Humanité.
1866 Histoire de France, vol. XVI (Louis XV).
1867 Histoire de France, vol. XVII (Louis XVI).
1868 La Montagne.
1869 New Prefaces for Histoire de France and Histoire de la Révolution.
Franco-Prussian War. The Michelets move to Italy. Michelet suffers attacks of apoplexy in Pisa and Florence. The couple visit Switzerland, then move to Hyères in the South of France, near the Mediterranean.
1871 La France devant l’Europe.
1872 Histoire du XIXe siècle, vol. I.
1873 Histoire du XIXe siècle, vol. II.
1874 Death of Michelet at Hyères.
1874 Histoire du XIXe siècle, vol. III.
1876 Michelet’s remains transferred to Paris and buried at Père-Lachaise
Last modified 14 July 2018