He also used the pseudonyms Brenn, Ewan Gweznou, and Ion Prigent. Born in Brest, he was not brought up speaking Breton, but acquired the language in later life. He received two degrees (philosophy and English) and moved to Paris.
At this time he befriended Élisée Reclus, Kropotkin and Romain Rolland.
He took part in the universitaire populaires (1899–1905). Returning to Brittany, he became a professor of English at Pontivy High School.
He translated many works by Thomas Carlyle into French. In 1911, he became vice president of the literary section of the Breton Regionalist Union.
In the same year he was one of the founders of the Breton Nationalist Party, and an editor of its journal Breiz Dishual ("Free Brittany").