BEAUMARCHAIS by Georges Lemaitre
Kirkus Star


Email this review


Proud Destiny, by Lion Feuchtwanger, was a fictional biography of Beaumarchais, whose fantastic and colorful career flashed across the French scene of the late 18th century. Now comes this, by an eminent literary figure, with much to recommend it to the American public. Lemaitre has chosen to present Beaumarchais as a figure of high finance, of court intrigue under the two Louis, of literature. America's debt to Beaumarchais has never been adequately paid. Silas Deane shows himself as a true friend, but new light, none of it too flattering, is thrown on the activities of Franklin and Arthur Lee, as they descended to the maze of French intrigue at court to get a French loan in the late 1770's. Beaumarchais was only son of a watch-maker, too dour, too strict a man to rear the highly strung boy. The grown man, flamboyantly brave, ever feared the authority which symbolized the father. Lifelong fighter in the courts, victim of jealousy, Beaumarchais had revealed to him early the pattern of his fantastic future. From meagre beginnings by the flick of chance he was elevated to high honors, acclaimed, and then at peak of success, pinioned by hate of a long forgotten enemy. Financier, courtier, confidential agent, he found time between bouts of fortune, to write plays, operas, and- in Le Mariage de Figaro, one of France's masterpieces....A good steady seller, this, for not only is it thrilling adventure, but Beaumarchais' important role in the birth of the United States gives him significance here.

ISBN: 1432617575
Publisher: Knopf