Philippe Daudy
Philippe Daudy was, among other things, a member of the French Resistance
French Resistance
The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

, a journalist, a novelist, a publisher and a businessman. An Anglophile Frenchman, he moved to England and wrote a best-selling book about the English.


Daudy was born on 17 June 1925 and spent his childhood in Ethiopia, where his father, Bernard Daudy, was the medical officer for the French-run Imperial Railway Company of Ethiopia
Imperial Railway Company of Ethiopia
Rail transport in Ethiopia currently consists only of a line from Djibouti to Dire Dawa. The line continues from Dire Dawa to Addis Ababa, but is no longer operational...

, but died young from a snake bite. Daudy’s mother, a great beauty, later married Hubert Deschamps, the historian and sociologist who governed French Somalia, Ivory Coast and Senegal and ended his career in 1960 as Governor-General of the Colonies, at the peak of French colonial administration.

Service in the Resistance

During the Second World War, Daudy served in a Resistance network operating in and around Lyons
Lyon , is a city in east-central France in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Lyon is located at from Paris, from Marseille, from Geneva, from Turin, and from Barcelona. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais....

. He was wounded in an attack on a Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

 transport depot at Villeurbanne
Villeurbanne is a commune in the Rhône department in eastern France.It is situated northeast of Lyon, with which it forms the heart of the second-largest metropolitan area in France after that of Paris. Villeurbanne is the second-largest city in the department.-History:The current location of...

 and was awarded the Croix de Guerre. Interviewed in Marcel Ophuls
Marcel Ophuls
Marcel Ophüls is a documentary film maker and former actor.He was born in Frankfurt, Germany, the son of the director Max Ophüls...

's 1969 documentary on occupied France, The Sorrow and the Pity
The Sorrow and the Pity
The Sorrow and the Pity is a two-part 1969 documentary film by Marcel Ophüls about the French Resistance and collaboration between the Vichy government and Nazi Germany during World War II. The film uses interviews with a German officer, collaborators, and resistance fighters from...

, Daudy was later to say:
At its best the Resistance was the first classless society in France. The two classes became comrades in arms, sharing the same dangers, and even death.


After the Second World War, Daudy worked as a correspondent for Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse is a French news agency, the oldest one in the world, and one of the three largest with Associated Press and Reuters. It is also the largest French news agency. Currently, its CEO is Emmanuel Hoog and its news director Philippe Massonnet...

, covering the Greek Civil War
Greek Civil War
The Greek Civil War was fought from 1946 to 1949 between the Greek governmental army, backed by the United Kingdom and United States, and the Democratic Army of Greece , the military branch of the Greek Communist Party , backed by Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania...

, the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, the Far East
Far East
The Far East is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century,...

 and Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito
Marshal Josip Broz Tito – 4 May 1980) was a Yugoslav revolutionary and statesman. While his presidency has been criticized as authoritarian, Tito was a popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad, viewed as a unifying symbol for the nations of the Yugoslav federation...

’s Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

. Daudy co-authored a leading work on the Korean War and later contributed to Thames Television
Thames Television
Thames Television was a licensee of the British ITV television network, covering London and parts of the surrounding counties on weekdays from 30 July 1968 until 31 December 1992....

’s leading television documentary history, Korea: the Unknown War.

Daudy continued to write and to publish prolifically. His works included:
  • Le Roi de Prusse (1960), a novel
  • Neige a Capri (first published in 1960, under the pseudonym of Paul Paoli)
  • Les Pigeons de Naples (1961, under the pseudonym of Paul Paoli)
  • Bal a Bale (1962, under the pseudonym of Paul Paoli)
  • L’Amour cousu d’or (1963), a novel
  • a preface to Eugène Fromentin
    Eugène Fromentin
    Eugène Fromentin was a French painter and writer.He was born in La Rochelle. After leaving school he studied for some years under Louis Cabat, the landscape painter...

    ’s Dominique (1965)
  • a preface to an edition of Prosper Mérimée
    Prosper Mérimée
    Prosper Mérimée was a French dramatist, historian, archaeologist, and short story writer. He is perhaps best known for his novella Carmen, which became the basis of Bizet's opera Carmen.-Life:...

  • a preface to Hamilton
    Antoine Hamilton
    Antoine Hamilton was an Irish classical author of near Scottish ancestry, who wrote in French....

    ’s Memoires du comte de Gramont- (1965)
  • Les Amants d’Italie (1966)
  • Le Vagabond de Malevie (1977, under the pseudonym of Adrien Barraud)
  • Le Criminel precautionneux (1978, under the pseudonym of Adrien Barraud)
  • La Force du Destin (1981)
  • Naples
  • Histoire generale de la peinture: Le XVIIe siecle

In 1989, after extensive research, Daudy wrote the book for which he is perhaps best known in the English-speaking world, Les Anglais, an affectionate analysis of the English national character, which was later translated into English by his daughter Isabelle Daudy and published in England in 1991.

Other activities

Daudy began his own publishing house and co-founded the leading French literary prize now known as the Prix Décembre
Prix Décembre
The Prix Décembre, originally known as the Prix Novembre, is one of France's premier literary awards. Its winners are generally far more radical choices than the more staid and conservative Prix Goncourt...

. He served as Vice-President of the Royaumont Foundation (based at Royaumont Abbey
Royaumont Abbey
Royaumont Abbey was a Cistercian abbey, located near Asnières-sur-Oise in Val-d'Oise, approximately 30 km north of Paris, France.-History:It was built between 1228 and 1235 with the support of Louis IX...

) and also made his own Armagnac
Armagnac (drink)
Armagnac is a distinctive kind of brandy or eau de vie produced in the Armagnac region in Gascony, southwest France. It is distilled from wine usually made from a blend of Armagnac grapes, including Baco 22A, Colombard, and Ugni Blanc, using column stills rather than the pot stills used in the...


Along with the Hon. Robin Johnstone, Daudy was a founding Honorary Secretary of the Franco-British Council in 1972. He was awarded the MBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 for his services to Anglo-French relations.


Daudy married first Janine Sommer (marriage dissolved), by whom he had two daughters, Martine and Florence, who both live and work in Paris. He married secondly Barbara Guidotti (marriage dissolved), by whom he had one daughter, Isabelle, a writer and psychologist based in Toulouse (and married to the economist Professor Paul Seabright
Paul Seabright
Paul Seabright is Professor of Economics in the Industrial Economics Institute and Toulouse School of Economics at the University of Toulouse, France.-Education:...

 of the University of Toulouse
University of Toulouse
The Université de Toulouse is a consortium of French universities, grandes écoles and other institutions of higher education and research, named after one of the earliest universities established in Europe in 1229, and including the successor universities to that earlier university...


On his death in Beijing on 12 March 1994, Daudy was survived by his third wife, Marie-Christine Goüin (daughter of the philanthropists Henri and Isabel Goüin and a great-great-granddaughter of the 19th century French civil engineer, Ernest Goüin
Ernest Goüin
Ernest Goüin was a French civil engineer and industrialist.In 1846 he founded Ernest Goüin & Cie. ; the company initially built locomotives, and diversified into bridge building and railway construction projects.His name is one of the 72 names inscribed on the Eiffel Tower.-Biography:Born on 20...

). By her he had a son Clément (married to the British artist Kate Daudy
Kate Daudy
Kate Daudy is a British artist who lives and works in London. Her work is inspired by an ancient Chinese literati tradition of inscribing poems on to objects....

), an economist, and a daughter, Mathilde, a singer and documentary-maker (married to the celebrated musicologist Marcel Pérès
Marcel Pérès
Marcel Pérès is a French musicologist, composer, choral director and singer, and the founder of the early music group Ensemble Organum. He is an authority on Gregorian and pre-Gregorian chant....

). The family continue to live at Royaumont Abbey
Royaumont Abbey
Royaumont Abbey was a Cistercian abbey, located near Asnières-sur-Oise in Val-d'Oise, approximately 30 km north of Paris, France.-History:It was built between 1228 and 1235 with the support of Louis IX...

where they are noted for their generosity and their benevolent interest in cultivating artistic talent. Through their visionary creation of France's first cultural foundation they and four or five other families could be said to form the heart of the French intellectual establishment.
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