Beaumarchais and the American Revolution

Beaumarchais and the American Revolution

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Described by the magazine American Heritage as the "Most Underrated French Hero of the American Revolution," Caron de Beaumarchais-the French watchmaker who rose to fame and fortune as a dramatist, polemist, and Enlightenment free-thinker-became the most famous arms dealer of the American Revolutionary War. Based on archival research in Europe and the United States, this authoritative study tells the fascinating story of Beaumarchais's role in the American colonies' fight for independence.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 157.5 x 228.6 x 33mm | 657.72g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • bibliography; index
  • 0739104683
  • 9780739104682

Review quote

This book represents an original and important contribution to our knowledge of Beaumarchais's life and times and is the first-ever serious study of Beaumarchais's contribution to the American Revolution. As such, it offers a wealth of detailed insights into not only eighteenth-century diplomacy among nations but among individuals in the Republic of Letters. The intertwining of personal relationships and power politics is an important element of the age of Enlightenment, with which scholars and students are only recently coming to understand fully. No one working in French literature today has read as many original sources on the life of Beaumarchais as Donald Spinelli and Brian Morton, and this extensive research gives their work a richness, density and originality unmatched by any other Beaumarchais scholar. -- Gregory S. Brown, University of Nevada, Las Vegas This fascinating and meticulously researched account of French dramatists Pierre Augustan Caron de Beaumarchais (1732-1799) focuses on his activities as a maverick gunrunner during the American Revolution, a role most readers do not associate with the well-known auhthor who inspired Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro (1784). After reading this exciting book one wonders how he found time to write at all, consumed as he was by his business dealings in America and by his business dealings in America and by his efforts to avoid personal bankruptcy in France. The French Review A splendid book on a fascinating topic, superbly researched and engagingly written. -- Jonathan R. Dull, The Papers of Benjamin Franklinshow more

About Brian N. Morton

Brian N. Morton taught French literature at the University of Michigan for twenty years. He has written extensively on Beaumarchais, including Beaumarchais: A Bibliography (with Donald C. Spinelli, 1988) and Beaumarchais. Correspondance. Tomes I-IV (1968-1979, Tome IV with Donald C. Spinelli). Donald C. Spinelli is Professor of French at Wayne State Universityshow more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Beginnings Chapter 2 Beaumarchais and Vergennes Chapter 3 Roderigue Hortalez and Co. Chapter 4 Silas Deane is Sent to Europe Chapter 5 Ships to America Chapter 7 Benjamin Franklin Chapter 8 France and Spain Chapter 10 Theveneau de Francy, Beaumarchais's Agent in America Chapter 11 The Fier Roderigue: I Chapter 12 1778: French Recognition Chapter 13 Francy Disillusioned Chapter 14 Deane vs. Congress Chapter 15 The Fier Roderigue: II Chapter 15 Deane Dismissed Chapter 16 Francy and Deane Return to France Chapter 17 Deane's Desperation Chapter 18 Observations on the Justifying Memorial ... Chapter 19 Peace Chapter 20 Gift or Loan? Chapter 21 Payment-of Sorts Chapter 21 French Government Support of Beaumarchais Chapter 22 Conclusionshow more

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