René François Armand Prudhomme is Awarded the First Nobel Prize for Literature

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1901 was awarded to Sully Prudhomme "in special recognition of his poetic composition, which gives evidence of lofty idealism, artistic perfection and a rare combination of the qualities of both heart and intellect".

The vase which died this verbena
A coup was cracked range;
The coup had barely brushed,
No noise was not revealed.

But the slight bruising,
Mordant crystal each day,
On a walk invisible and safe
Has been slow around.

Fresh water has leaked drip,
The succession of flowers was exhausted;
Nobody yet not surprisingly,
Do not touch it, it is broken. ”

— Sully Prudhomme

Rene Francois Armand Prudhomme (1839-1907) was the son of a French shopkeeper. He wanted to become an engineer, but an eye disease terminated his training at a polytechnic institute. He studied literature, and after a brief and unsuccessful interlude in industry, he took up law, though without much conviction, and worked in a solicitor's office. Sully Prudhomme was a member of the «Conference La Bruyère», a distinguished student society, and the favourable reception that his fellow members gave to his juvenilia encouraged him to go on writing poetry.