Antoine-Francois Prevost was born in 1697. Educated by the Jesuits, he entered the army, later returning to the Jesuits, before becoming a Benedictine monk with the congregation of Saint-Maur. However, his taste for the wordly life led him to flee the cloister in 1728 after which he spent the next six years in exile in Holland. He began writing in 1728 and Mamon Lescaut casued a sensation on its publication in 1731. He died in 1763. Leonard Tancock was a Fellow of University College, London until his death in 1986. He translated many works from French for the Penguin Classics. Jean Sgard is a Professor of French Literature at the Stendhal University in Grenoble.
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