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Casimir Mondon-Vidailhet, pionnier de l'amitié franco-éthiopienne / Pioneer of the French-Ethiopian friendship (1847-1910)

Alain Rouaud

Casimir Mondon-Vidailhet. Pioneer of the French-Ethiopian Friendship

The man and his works

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The man

Statements on Mondon's personality are rare and suspect when they came from travellers influenced by the reception he gave to them in Addis Ababa or from political opponents. It seems that those who met Mondon-Vidailhet were impressed by two characteristics: physically he was short and not really handsome, and morally he was nice in the meridional way.

Describing him when he was in the Garde nationale, Stanislas said he was "appreciated by all his bosses and colleagues who felt a little pity for this fragile and slender young man, etc.". In getting old, he had fattened out and C. Michel who met him at the end of his second stay in Ethiopia might write that he was "short, alert, plump and with a "Gascon" spirit tempered by occasional gravity". And Brisson: "his height is mediocre, his appearance peaceful [...], but he has sharp wits which sparkle in his dark eyes and his language is marked by wisdom which is never solemn, because it is moderated by the great meridional temperam...

© Centre français des études éthiopiennes, 1997

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