Philosopher, literary and art critic; first chair in the history of art at the école des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Taine began as a lycée teacher at Toulon and Nevers, France. His refusal to sign an allegiance oath to the new President of France, after the 1851 coup d'état forced his dismissal. Taine completed his dissertation in 1853 on Lafontaine, Essai sur les fables de La Fontaine. In 1855, his Voyage aux eaux des Pyénées appeared. His Histoire de la littérature anglaise appeared in 1864.