- Category : Science-Geology
- Type : ME
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Eden 1
French geographer and anarchist. For his greatest work, "The Earth and Its Inhabitants," Reclus was awarded the gold medal of the Paris Geographical Society in 1892.
His father, Jacques Reclus, who left the French Reformed Church and became the pastor of a "Free Church" was a major influence in his life. Reclus had one brother, Elie, and both were independent thinkers who later became active in various religious protests. He received his education at the Protestant College of Montauban and later studied geography with Carl Ritter in Berlin. Involved with the republicans in 1848, he was forced to leave France after the coup d' etat in 1851, relocating to the United States. By 1853, he was living in Louisiana where he worked as a tutor for a wealthy plantation family. He saw the inhumanity of slavery all around him and eventually had to leave, finding that he could not tolerate working for slaveholders. He became a fierce opponent of slavery and racism as well as any other forms of oppression and domination.
Returning to France, Reclus pursued his geography studies and published "The Earth: A Descriptive History of the Phenomena of the Life of the Globe" and "History of a Brook," 1869. While serving in the National Guard in defense of the Commune in April 1871, he was taken prisoner. In January 1872, he was banished from France, and eventually he settled in Clarens, Switzerland. In 1892, he became professor of comparative geography in Brussels.
In December 1858, he married Clarisse Brian, a mulatto woman, putting his anti-racist beliefs into practice in his own life. Unfortunately Clarisse died only a few years later. Reclus exchanged vows with an old family friend, Fanny L'Herminez. Their union, done without sanction of church or state, profoundly influenced him for the remainder of his life. Extremely concerned about nature and the treatment of other species, he was a practicing vegetarian during most of his life.
Reclus died on 4 July 1905 at Thourout near Brussels.