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Both sides of his family were of the highest provincial middle class; though they were not noble his father was fairly wealthy. His later contemporaries helped to swell the tale and the 18th century finally accepted it including the anecdotes of his meeting his son being told who he was and remarking Ah yes I thought I had seen him somewhere! of his insisting on fighting a duel with a supposed admirer of his wife and then imploring him to visit at his house just as before; of his going into company with his stockings wrong side out &c. Astronomers named the asteroid 5780 Lafontaine in his honor upon the 300th anniversary of his birth.
Jean de La Fontaine (IPA: [ʒɑ̃ də la fɔ̃tɛn]; 8 July 1621 – 13 April 1695) was the most famous French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century. He is known above all for his Fables which provided a model for subsequent fabulists across Europe and numerous alternative versions in France and in French regional languages.