Emile Verhaeren was a Belgian poet, art critic and wrote short stories and verse plays.
He was born in a Flemish French-speaking, middle-class family in Sint-Amands. Nevertheless Emile Verhaeren also spoke the local dialect (Dutch was not taught at school at that time). At the age of eleven, he was sent to a strict boarding school in Ghent run by Jesuits - The Jesuit College of Sainte Barbe, where he became completely Frenchified. He then went to study law at the University of Leuven. Here he produced his first literary efforts in a student paper. During those years, he became acquainted with like-minded students. They later became his collaborators on the revolutionary artistic magazine "La Jeune Belgique".
He studied law at the University of Louvain and while there started a journal, La Semaine, which was suppressed by the authorities as well as the following work Le Type. He was admitted to the bar at Brussels in 1881 but soon began devoting his time to literature, writing in French. He was soon one of the leading figures of the Belgian literary renaissance.
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