The Evariste Galois Archive

'Tout voir, tout entendre,  ne perdre aucune idée', Evariste 

    Galois, 29/Oct/1831

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Evariste Galois Biography

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Evariste Galois Childhood

Evariste Galois was born on the 25th of October 1811 in a small place called Bourg-la-Reine. This place is situated about 10 kilometres south of Paris. Today, it is a suburb of the French capital. In his house in the Grande Rue - nowadays called Avenue du Générale Leclerc - the Galois family accommodated a school, whose origins can be retraced to the times before the revolution. Prosperity and reputation of the family were based in this school. His father Nicolas-Gabriel Galois his mother Adélaïde Marie Demante were very intelligent and were well trained in all the subjects considered important at that time: classical literature, religion and philosophy. There is no record of mathematical talent on either side of the family, nor did Evariste himself show any, but on the other hands there are no hints to the contrary neither. But there is a record of Nicholas-Gabriel Galois gift for composing rhymed couplets. He used it to amuse family and friends at house parties (maybe elsewhere as well but there is no explicit mentioning of it). It's hard to imagine that his ability proved to be his undoing, years later. Evariste seemed to have inherited this talent. His cousin Mme. Bénard remembers decades later the family parties with their grandmother, when the children, i.e. Galois, his sister and their cousins recited rhymed couplets, which Evariste had composed. At the age of ten his parents decided to send him to a college in Reims. Evariste was admitted to this school with a partial grant. But then his mother seems to have changed her mind. She regarded her son as too small and defenceless to be sent off so far from home. He was allowed to stay home, enjoy the quiet family live and she kept on being his (as well as his sister's and brother's) sole source of education. He received an excellent education in Latin, Greek and rhetoric, and it is mentioned, that she passed on her own skepticism for religious matters, but mathematics is not mentioned.

Written by Bernard Bychan; Last Modified: September 15, 2017

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