Coupvray, 1813-1819
Early Life in Coupvray

Louis' home in Coupvray
The Brailles soon adapted to Louis' blindness.  But regardless of his disability, they were determined that the boy would still be successful.  His father made him a cane, and after some bumps and scrapes, he was able to move around his house and the village.  His older sisters helped him to learn his letters with carved pieces of wood.  But Louis, bright as he was, felt left out of the daily activities.  He had little to do, since he could neither do chores nor play with the other children.

In 1815, Louis finally found something to look forward to.  A priest named Jacques Palluy moved into Coupvray.  He met young Louis and decided to teach him.  The priest read to Louis from the Bible, science books, astronomy books, and more.  Louis had an excellent memory and absorbed the material rapidly.  In a short time, Father Palluy had nothing else to teach him.  So he went to the local schoolmaster with an unusual request: he wished for Louis, a blind child, to attend the school as a regular student.

Antoine Becheret agreed.  So for about three years, Louis went to school every day.  He did very well, even though he could not take notes.  But soon, the laws changed, and only reading and writing, subjects Louis could not participate in, were taught.

But Father Palley was still unsatisfied with Louis' education.  He received support from a nearby wealthy landowner, who wrote a letter to the Royal Institution for the Blind asking for a scholarship.  The school accepted Louis and granted him a full scholarship.