Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Jacques Henri (zhäk äNrēˈ bĕrnärdăNˈ də săN–pyĕrˈ) [key], 1737–1814, French naturalist and author. He was a friend of Rousseau, by whom he was strongly influenced. His chief work, Études de la nature (1784), sought to prove the existence of God from the wonders of nature; it is rich in descriptive passages, and it added specific color terms and plant names to the French language. A section of this was the sentimental prose idyll Paul et Virginie (1788), which attained immense vogue and influenced the French romanticists.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.