Romain Rolland was born on January 29, 1866, a year of strife, the year when Sadowa was fought. His native town was Clamecy, where another imaginative writer, Claude Tillier, author ofMon Oncle Benjamin, was likewise born. An ancient city, within the confines of old-time Burgundy, Clamecy is a quiet place, where life is easy and uneventful. The Rollands belong to a highly respected middle-class family. His father, who was a lawyer, was one of the notables of the town. His mother, a pious and serious-minded woman, devoted all her energies to the upbringing of her two children; Romain, a delicate boy, and his sister Madeleine, younger than he.