Paul Claudel was a poet, dramatist, essayist, and religious thinker of great power and originality whose works are suffused with his ardent Catholicism. He had a distinguished career in the French consular and diplomatic service, which enabled him to spend many years in the Far East, North and South America, and Europe. Almost all of Claudel's work embodies an expression of his deep Roman Catholic faith and is an attempt to share its truth with others. His poetic expression is at once symbolic and lyrical, expressing the joy, beauty, and mystery of existence. Among his most important plays are The City, The Break of Noon, The Tidings Brought to Mary (1912), and The Satin Slipper (1928-1939).