General and Madam de Lafayette: Partners in Liberty's Cause in the American and French Revolutions

General and Madam de Lafayette: Partners in Liberty's Cause in the American and French Revolutions

by Jason Lane
     
 

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This biography of French liberator Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) reveals not only how the nineteen-year-old bravely ventured to the infant United States to serve in its War of Independence, but also the iconoclast's enormous contribution to the causes of social and economic justice in France, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Poland. The Marquise (1759-1807), born Adrienne

Overview

This biography of French liberator Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) reveals not only how the nineteen-year-old bravely ventured to the infant United States to serve in its War of Independence, but also the iconoclast's enormous contribution to the causes of social and economic justice in France, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Poland. The Marquise (1759-1807), born Adrienne de Noailles, shared the same controversial beliefs as her husband, supporting and defending him wholeheartedly despite ongoing political persecution-including the Marquis's exile in an Austrian dungeon and her own imprisonment (and near-execution) by French radicals. Employing a sweeping, classical feel, and visiting landscapes including the magnificent court at Versailles, the brutal hardship of Valley Forge, and the momentous storming of the Bastille, Lane chronicles and celebrates the couple's passionate yet tumultuous relationship while documenting the birth of America, two French Revolutions, and the Napoleonic era.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Propelled through life by an unquenchable thirst for liberty and justice, Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette distinguished himself in both his homeland, France, and in America by his canny leadership in the fight for freedom. Using the letters of Lafayette and his wife, Adrienne, Lane (a member of American Friends of Lafayette) provides a workmanlike hagiographic account of Lafayette's life and work. Lafayette was only 17 when he plotted to come to America to aid the colonies in their revolution; he faced resistance from his in-laws and his own lack of skill in battle and in speaking English. But he learned English on the voyage over, and when he came ashore near Charleston quickly made a name for himself as a brave and heroic leader. Lafayette became fast friends with George Washington, whom he helped to defeat Cornwallis in Virginia. He returned home a hero and began to press for the cause of liberty in France. His wife, who had supported him during his American campaign with her loving and uplifting letters, stood beside him once again. He won great support during the French Revolution, but was eventually arrested and imprisoned for his support of a constitutional monarchy. Adrienne voluntarily shared his dungeon cell for two years, contracting the illness that finally killed her. Written in a prosaic style, Lane's first book offers a detailed glimpse of French society in the late 18th and early 19th centuries as seen through the lives of two aristocrats dedicated to liberty. 13 b&w illus. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Lane is a member of the American Friends of Lafayette Society, and his first book is an unabashed tribute to the lives of Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette and his devoted wife, Adrienne de Noailles. Yet this work is substantially more than a mere panegyric. Lane displays a thorough familiarity with the primary documents pertaining to all phases of Lafayette's tumultuous life and substantiates his contention that Lafayette was a true paladin of liberty who devoted his every effort to creating a political culture that constitutionally protected the inherent rights of all citizens. The "Hero of Two Worlds" never compromised this commitment, but Lane reserves his greatest admiration for Lafayette's long-suffering and devoted wife, Adrienne, who endured her husband's extramarital affairs with aplomb and insisted on living with the incarcerated Lafayette in the dank Austrian dungeon at Olmutz for two years. Lane's biography comes on the heels of Harlow G. Unger's solid Lafayette, but libraries will not suffer from having both these biographies on their shelves. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-Jim Doyle, Sara Hightower Regional Lib., Rome, GA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781461734697
Publisher:
Taylor Trade Publishing
Publication date:
10/22/2003
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Jason Lane lives in Healdsburg, California.

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