Eugène Le Roy (1836 in Hautefort – 1907 in Montignac)

This writer was born in the castle of Hautefort where his parents were servants. Placed as a nanny with farmers, he grew up as a small farmer before going to the seminary to become a priest. He abandoned his studies to « go up » to Paris to work as a grocer before joining the army where he took part in the Algerian and then Italian campaigns during the Second Empire. Degraded for indiscipline, he resigned and passed the tax collector’s examination, a position he held for 30 years, mainly in the Dordogne. His chaotic career made him a republican, an anticlerical, an anti-conformist, a free thinker and a committed novelist, an admirer of this Périgord of little people in the process of disappearing, which he portrays with realism and attachment. His two most famous novels take place on either side of the Isle: Jacquou le Croquant in the Barade forest and L’Ennemi de la mort in the Double forest.