Dupin, a Man of Many Talents and Contradictions
Charles Dupin has been neglected by historians for many years. In 2007, a colloquium took place in Paris to study this interesting man, and the papers that were presented there have been invaluable sources of reference in the preparation of this work. However, no complete biography of Dupin has ever been published. Perhaps it is the very diversity of his work and achievements—so apparent from the wealth of his writings—that have made him a difficult subject for specialists.
A brilliant student at the Ecole polytechnique and a devoted disciple of the celebrated mathematician Gaspard Monge, Dupin began a successful career as a naval engineer. When his duties took him to Corfu in his early years, he championed the use of the Greek language, and above all, he was involved in the foundation of the Ionian academy. He had considerable admiration for Britain and set his sights on visiting that great rival of France to study all that he could and observe and learn whatever might be advantageous to the progress and industry of