Restif de la Bretonne, Nicolas Edme (nëkôläˈ ĕdˈmə rĕstēfˈ də lä brətônˈ) [key], 1734–1806, French novelist. A printer by trade, he wrote and published over 250 novels, mostly based on incidents in his own rather libertine life. His detailed realism earned him the epithets "the Rousseau of the gutter" and "the Voltaire of the chambermaids." He was the author of many tracts on social reform. Outstanding among his novels are Le Pied de Fanchette (1769), Le Paysan perverti (1775), Les Parisiennes (1787), and Monsieur Nicolas (16 vol., 1794–97; tr., 6 vol., 1930–31).
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