Maurice Maeterlinck

Belgian playwright and essayist (1862–1949)

Maurice Polydore Marie Bernard Maeterlinck,[1] also called Comte (Count) Maeterlinck from 1932,[2] (29 August 1862 – 6 May 1949) was a Belgian playwright, poet, and essayist. He wrote in French. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911. The main themes in his work are death and the meaning of life. His plays are an important part of the Symbolist movement.

Maurice Maeterlinck
BornMaurice Polydore Marie Bernard
(1862-08-29)29 August 1862
Ghent, Belgium
Died6 May 1949(1949-05-06) (aged 86)
Nice, France
OccupationPlaywright · Poet · Essayist
Literary movementSymbolism
Notable worksIntruder (1890)
The Blind (1890)
Interior (1895)
The Blue Bird (1908)
Notable awardsNobel Prize in Literature
Triennial Prize for Dramatic Literature
SpouseRenée Dahon
PartnerGeorgette Leblanc

He finished his law studies at the University of Ghent in 1885. He then spent a few months in Paris, France. His first play, Princess Maleine, was well received in August 1890.

He had a relationship with the singer and actress Georgette Leblanc from 1895 till 1918. On 15 February 1919 Maeterlinck married Renée Dahon. She was actress he met during a rehearsal of The Blue Bird in 1910.

When Germany invaded Belgium in 1914, Maeterlink wished to join the French Foreign Legion. His application was denied due to his age.

In 1919 he accepted an invitation to the United States. He worked with Samuel Goldwyn on movies but did not find success.

He was made a count by Albert I, King of the Belgians in 1932.

He returned to Nice after the war on 10 August 1947. In 1948, the French Academy awarded him the Medal for the French Language. He died in Nice on 6 May 1949 after suffering a heart attack.


  1. Spelled Maurice (Mooris) Polidore Marie Bernhard Maeterlinck on the official Nobel Prize page Archived 2012-11-19 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Maeterlinck, Maurice in Encyclopædia Britannica