Andre Maurois was a French author.Maurois was born in Elbeuf and educated at the Lycee Pierre Corneille in Rouen, both in Normandy. A member of the Javal family, Maurois was the son of Ernest Herzog, a Jewish textile manufacturer, and his wife Alice Levy-Rueff. His family had fled Alsace after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71 and took refuge in Elbeuf, where they owned a woollen mill.
As noted by Maurois, the family brought their entire Alsatian workforce with them to the relocated mill, for which Maurois’ grandfather was awarded the Legion of Honour for having “saved a French industry”.
This family background is reflected in Maurois’ “Bernard Quesnay” – the story of a young World War I veteran with artistic and intellectual inclinations who is drawn, much against his will, to work as a director in his grandfather’s textile mills – a character clearly having many autobiographical elements.