Saint-Simon in Spain 1721-1722

Saint-Simon in Spain 1721-1722

By Vincent J. Pitts



The duc de Saint-Simon's memoirs of the last decades of Louis XIV's reign and the regency of Philippe d'Orléans are considered a masterpiece of the genre and one of the glories of French literature. His accounts of the dramatic events he witnessed have informed historians for generations, while his literary portraits have influenced French authors from Sainte-Beuve to Proust. In 1721 Saint-Simon travelled to Spain as Ambassador Extraordinary to solicit the hand of a Spanish princess for the young king Louis XV. Although his mission comes very late in his long narrative, that experience looms large in his account of earlier events, hidden in plain sight, and enriched by it. The nineteenth-century essayist Sainte-Beuve dubbed Saint-Simon 'the little duke with the penetrating eye'. Readers of this book can decide for themselves how penetrating an eye the little duke could bring to bear on his contemporaries, and on himself.

ISBN: 9781914414305


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