TOUSSAINT, Gustave-Charles

TOUSSAINT, Gustave-Charles (Gustave Frédéric Charles). Rennes (Ille-et-Vilaine) 11.1.1869 — Paramé, Saint-Malo 12.10.1938. French Colonial Servant and Tibetan Scholar. Son of Benoît T., a railway inspector, and Hélène Feutrier. school and law studies in Rennes. In 1887-93 lawyer in Rennes. Then served in New Caledonia (1893-95) and Pondichéry (1895-97), then juge suppléant in Tananarive, from 1913 procureur général in Hanoi, 1917-22 on diplomatic mission in Peking and Shanghai, then again in Hanoi, finally président de tribunal (cour français) in Shanghai (1927-34). In 1934 retired from the last office and lived in Paris. During his years in Madagascar he was capable of making long travels in India and Central Asia, then in China, where he also lived long periods in Peking visiting Mongolia and various parts of China. Once he even visited Greenland. Died suddenly in his native Bretagne. Married, one son.

During an early journey in the confines of Tibet in 1911 Toussaint achieved the manuscript of the Padma Thangyig, the translation of which became his scholarly magnum opus, in fact his only scholarly work, although without any critical apparatus.

Publications: “Le Padma Than Yig”, BEFEO 20:4, 1920, 13-56 (transl. of chapters 1 & 12-22); other chapters translated in JA and Études Asiatiques, complete as Padma Than Yig, le dict de Padma. Traduit du tibétain. 540 p. Bibl. de l’Inst. des Hautes études chinoises 3. P. 1933.

With F. W. Thomas & J. Bacot: Documents de Touen-houang relatifs à l’histoire du Tibet. 204 p. of facs. A.M.G., Bibd. d’ét. 51. P. 1940 (1946).

Three collections of poetry, Miroirs de Goule. 95 p. P. 1934.

Sources: J. Bacot, JA 231, 1939, 125f., supplemented from Member-lists of 1909, 1924, 1929, 1934; French Wikipédia with photo.

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