After the College d'Ambert and the Lycee Henri IV in Paris, Henri Pourras was destined to agriculture and was admitted in 1905 at the Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon. However, infected by tuberculosis, he sought a more healthy climate, the valley of the Dore and Livradois and Forez mountains, that he walked over countless hikes over the next fifty years. He lived in a house at Vernet-la-Varenne.The enforced leisure, devoted to reading and walking, developed in him the need to write. The work of Henry Pourras would be abundant (hundreds of books) and varied (poems, novels, biographies, collections of stories).From 1916, her brother Paul and himself were friends with the young Alexander Vialatte (1901—1971). He settled in the small sub-prefecture in 1948.
Already in 1926, The University of Dublin has conferred the title of docteur Honoris Causa.The critical distinction attended the monumental The Valor, pranks and adventures of Jasper Mountain (4 volumes, 1921—1931 and final edition in one volume by Albin Michel), awarded the Prize Figaro (1921, Volume 1) and the Grand Prix du Roman of the Académie française (1931 overall). The Prix Goncourt was also awarded to him in 1941 for Martian Wind. He obtained the Muteau Prize of the French Academy for his historical book, Man with a spade.
The last decade of his life was dedicated to what he regarded as his masterpiece, The Treasure of the tales.
Between the two world wars, he contributed to the Croix-de-feu, Le Flambeau., newspapers.On October 14, 1940, at the invitation of Pourras return to roots, Marshal Philippe Pétain, head of the Vichy France, came "to the meeting of the working people" in Ambert, near Vichy, visited the paper mill, the oldest Livradois, and passed control of a ream of paper watermarked with his emblem. On this occasion Henry Pourras publishesd "The French Peasant". and "The French leader", articles dedicated to Marshal Petain and his policy of Back to the Earth. Subsequently, Henry Pourrat departed from the National Revolution, and he says in his letters, the politicians are taken by events.
Founder of the association La Feuille Blanche, Pourras created in the Moulin Richard de Bas, a museum to Paper, and tried to set a graphic arts village. The museum was inaugurated July 3, 1943 in the presence of Georges Henri Riviere, Director of the Musée national des Arts et Traditions Populaires.
The Association of Friends of Henry Pourras defended his work. In 1979, to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of the writer, FR3 Auvergne Radio conducted a series of 10 programs for the series "history to speak", by Christian Lassalas. Excerpts of these broadcasts are found in the audio cassette "Recollections of Henry Pourras" published by "The Friends of Henry Pourras." One can hear the testimony of Lucien Gachon, Jean Banière, Claude Pourrat, Annette Pourrat, Roger Gardes, Michel Versepuy, and the voice of Henry Pourrat.
His work is highly diverse: early poems, novels, biographies, historical essays, philosophical or religious stories. Far from the narrow context of regionalism, Auvergne folk tales for him ware the best place to discover and understand the nature and spirit, of the farmer and thereby "attain the universal." The twelve or thirteen years of his life are entirely devoted to the monumental treasury of tales, to which he attached great importance.
Many of his works were illustrated by his friend François Angeli (13 February 1890 +30 May 1974) brother of Jean Angeli, (Jean Olagne) (1886 1915), childhood friend of Henry Pourras.