A biography of an almost forgotten French figure. Henry Monnier who pursued- alternately- three professions, who was never great but was very representative of his era as his work reflected social, economic and political history as well as the artistic trends of the Restoration and the Second Empire. His was a paradoxical life- ""the promising talents which never quite overcame the struggle against poverty, the gaiety and cleverness which left so little trace, the immense popularity which brought so few real friends"". And here is portrayed his particular charm, his gift for mimicry, for hoaxes- so fashionable at the time; and his career as a satiric artist- he was second to Daumier; as an actor- be never made the Cumedie Franiasie and more incidentally as a writer. An interpretation of his work, his particular affinity with Flaubert and Balzac merges with the story of his life and all evidences careful scholarship as well as a just objectivity. But one questions where, except for library reference, a contemporary audience lies.