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Alain-Fournier was the pseudonym of Henri Alban-Fournier, whose only novel, Le Grand Meaulnes (The Lost Domain) was published the year before he was killed in action in 1914, at the age of 27. Like the narrator of his novel, Alain-Fournier was the son of a schoolteacher, and a chance meeting with a girl on the banks of the Seine became the rite of passage that inspired his story.
Hermione Lee is a writer, reviewer, and broadcaster. She has written acclaimed biographies of Willa Cather, Virginia Woolf, and Edith Wharton and her many other works include critical writing on a wide range of literary figures. She was Goldsmiths' Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford before becoming President of Wolfson College. In April 2012 she co-presented, with Julian Barnes, two programmes on BBC Radio 4 about Alain-Fournier and his novel.