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Beaumarchais: A Biography
 
 
Author
Maurice Lever. Susan Emanuel, trans.
Publisher FSG  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.25 inches
ISBN 9780374113285
Pages/Publication Date 411/2009
Daedalus Item Code 02693
This item is not available.
Description
Playwright, politician, publisher, entrepreneur, spy, and rebel—few men of 18th-century letters led a more varied or controversial life than Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais. From humble beginnings as a watchmaker to exalted fame as the author of The Marriage of Figaro, Beaumarchais was a self-made man in a time when self-fashioning was close to impossible, a revolutionary in both his life and his art. In this one-volume translation and distillation of his three-volume biography in French, Maurice Lever gives us a narrative that reaches from the courts of Paris to secretive rendezvous in London and Germany, from Europe to America, from the theater of war to the stage of the famed Comédie-Français.

"Best known as the author of the comedies that became Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro and Rossini's The Barber of Seville, Beaumarchais was a high-spirited adventurer for whom writing plays was only an 'honest relaxation.' This erudite and wry biography covers the full range of his occupations, including watchmaking, espionage, pamphleteering, and transatlantic trade. Born into a modest family, he clambered into court society largely through charm and smart taste in consorts; even the name Beaumarchais was borrowed from one of his wives. But social success didn't blunt his populist instincts or the 'insane courage' with which he expressed them. One play derided the nobility for taking 'the trouble to be born and nothing else,' and it was as much sympathy with democratic ideals as desire for profit, Lever argues, that led Beaumarchais to supply guns for the American Revolution."—The New Yorker

 
 
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