Biography of Élisée Reclus (1830-1905)

Writer, geographer, and French anarchist activist, born in Sainte-Foy-la-Grande in 1830 and died in also on July 4, 1905.

Chased from an early age by his anarchist ideology, in 1851 was forced to leave France and take the road of exile that took him through various countries in Europe and America, in those who took the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the other great passion that encouraged throughout its existence: the study of geography. After six years, already back in his native country, the young recluse began to publish his first collaborations in various publications associated with geographical discipline, such as the Revue des Deux Mondes and Le Tour du Monde. However, these professional occupations not pushed you to abandon their active struggle on behalf of his anarchist ideas, so, after having joined the international in 1867, was reduced to presidio, and little later, again sentenced to banishment.

Reclus took advantage of this new tax to leave France to move to Spain in the company of other relevant anarchists who, like Alfred Nacquet, Aristide Rey, and Giuseppe Fanelli, had the Mission of forming the first internationalists nuclei in the Iberian Peninsula and - apparently, by order of the own Bakunin- there spread the anarchist doctrine of the I International. It was precisely the French geographer who, at the beginning of 1869, was contacted to Giusseppe Fanelli with the anarchist band from Madrid Anselmo Lorenzo, from where the message of Bakunin was extended to the rest of the country.

Again in France, Élisée recluse had the opportunity to meet the catalan educator Francisco Ferrer y Guardia, at the time exiled in Paris, who moved this hobby by geography that would then become one of the cornerstones of its proposal of educational reform known as the "modern school". Consecrated, finally, to his studies, Reclus accepted a professorship of geography compared at the University of Brussels (1892) and completed the last stage of his life dedicated to a discipline that had been enriched with such notables as graduates trials La Terre, description des phénomènes de vie du globe ('the Earth, description of the phenomena of the life of the globe'(, 1867-68), Nouvelle Géographie Universelle ('New universal geography', 1875-94) and l'homme et la Terre ('the man and the Earth', 1905-08).