Danchet was born in
Riom, in the
Auvergne, France. Having been a professor of rhetoric at
Chartres and then a tutor at
Paris, Danchet gave up teaching to write for the theatre. He wrote some opera libretti which, set to music by
André Campra, met with success. By contrast, his tragedies, mediocre imitations of
Racine, almost all failed. He died in
An associate member of the
Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres from 1705, he was elected to the
Académie française in 1712 thanks to the patronage of Mesdames
de Ferriol et
Voltaire wrote an epigram about him stating that his membership was more for his good deeds than his writing.
He died in Paris. His works, published in 1751 include, in addition to dramatic works, odes, cantatas, and letters.