Joseph Xavier Saintine (1798 - 1865) was a French novelist and dramatist, whose real surname was Boniface. Saintine was born in Paris. In 1823 he produced a volume of poetry in the manner of the Romanticists, entitled Poèmes, odes, épîtres. In 1836 appeared Picciola, the story of the comte de Charney, a political prisoner in Piedmont, whose reason was saved by his cult of a tiny flower growing between the paving stones of his prison yard. This story is a masterpiece of the sentimental kind, and has been translated into many European languages. He produced many other novels, none of striking individuality with the exception of Seul (1857), which purported to be the authentic record of Alexander Selkirk on his desert island. Saintine was a prolific dramatist, and collaborated in some hundred pieces with Scribe and others, usually under the name of Xavier.