The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered

The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered

Laura Auricchio

Language: English

Pages: 448

ISBN: 0307387453

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Marquis de Lafayette at age nineteen volunteered to fight under George Washington and became the French hero of the American Revolution. In this major biography Laura Auricchio looks past the storybook hero and selfless champion of righteous causes who cast aside family and fortune to advance the transcendent aims of liberty and fully reveals a man driven by dreams of glory only to be felled by tragic, human weaknesses.

Drawing on substantial new research conducted in libraries, archives, museums, and private homes in France and the United States, Auricchio, gives us history on a grand scale revealing the man and his complex life, while challenging and exploring the complicated myths that have surrounded his name for more than two centuries

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9.2, 9.3 Natoire, Charles-Joseph nature, 9.1, 12.1 Necker, Jacques, 11.1, 12.1, 12.2, 16.1; exile of, 13.1, 13.2, 14.1; recall of, 14.2 Neuilly, Comte de, 10.1, 10.2 Nevers, Duc de New Hampshire, 9.1, 9.2 New Jersey, 4.1, 6.1, 6.2 Newport, R.I., 6.1, 7.1, nts.1 news, newspapers; political, 12.1, 14.1; see also specific publications Newton, Isaac New York, N.Y., 8.1, 12.1, 18.1, 19.1; Lafayette festivities in, 19.2, 19.3, 19.4, 19.5; postwar description of, 9.1, nts.1 New York Evening

moment that Lafayette was regaling the American Philosophical Society with tales of animal magnetism, Franklin’s scientific commission was drafting its devastating assessment of Mesmer’s claims. By the late autumn of 1784, news of the debunking reached American shores. In the months that followed, newspapers from Massachusetts to South Carolina gradually relayed to their readers the disappointing verdict that animal magnetism was no more than a “chimera.” Lafayette never renounced the discredited

pursuit of his goals, Lafayette was not easily swayed on any topic, and he may simply have been considered too much of a loose cannon for the government to trust him. If the monarch expected quick affirmation of plans already devised, Lafayette could be trouble. At ten o’clock in the morning on February 22, 1787, Lafayette and the other notables filed into a vast meeting hall erected in the courtyard of the Hôtel des Menus Plaisirs du Roi—the bureau of the “King’s diversions”—in the town of

are at the doors and windows, listening … to certain orators, who from chairs and tables harangue each his little audience. The eagerness with which they are heard, and the thunder of applause they receive for every sentiment of more than common hardiness or violence against the present government, cannot be easily imagined.” On the morning of Saturday, June 20, the deputies of the Third Estate arrived at Versailles expecting to welcome the reform-minded clergy into their midst. Instead, all

home of a friend. It was said that one of the widely despised moneyman’s own tenants had turned him in. At five o’clock in the morning on July 22, a motley crowd deposited Foulon at the Paris Hôtel de Ville. Neither Lafayette nor Bailly was present, but the electors on site determined that Foulon, who had not been officially charged with any crime, should be imprisoned in the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, located about a mile away, on the Left Bank, where he could later be turned over to the

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