French historian. Born 1878, died 1956.
In 1919, Febvre was made professor at the new French university at Strasbourg, and from 1933 he was active at the Collège de France in Paris.
Together with his colleague, historian Marc Bloch, he founded (1929) the periodical Annales d'histoire économique et sociale. This became the basis of the so-called Annales school in French historiography.
In his own research, he represented the new historical science's salient characteristics: the demand for a consciously and stringently formulated line of inquiry; the use of quantitative methodology; and the breaking-down of the barriers between history, sociology, and other disciplines within the humanities. In so doing, he pre-emptively attacked a number of the problems and interdisciplinary limitations which have affected French historians (and, indeed, historians in general) through the latter half of the 20th century.
Among his contributions are Philippe II et la Franche-Comté (1912) and his pioneering work on the history of mentality, Le Problème de l'incroyance au 16e siècle (1942).