Born at Angers, he studied law in Paris, and on his return to Angers became professor of law in the Catholic university there. He contributed to Parisian journals a series of sketches of provincial life and descriptions of travel, and wrote Stephanette (1884), but he made his reputation with Une tache d'encre (A spot of ink) (1888), which received a prize from the Academy.
Other novels of great charm and delicacy followed:
La Terre qui meurt, a picture of the decay of peasant farming and a story of La Vendée, was an indirect plea for the development of provincial France. A volume of Questions littéraires et sociales appeared in 1906. He also wrote books of travel, including a l'aventure (1891), Sicile (1892), Terre d'Espagne (1896), and Croquis de France et d'Orient (1901). The book by which Bazin is best known to English and American readers is that on the Italy of his time, rendered into English under the title The Italians of To-Day (1904).New Intrnational Encyclopedia After 1914 he produced a half dozen novels besides miscellaneous writings.New International Encyclopedia Les Nouveaux Oberlé (1919) is regarded as a masterpiece.New International Encyclopedia René Bazin was admitted to the Académie française on April 28, 1904.