The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered - Laura Auricchio

Commended by James Madison for being “as sincere an American as any Frenchman can be,” Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834), was nineteen when he joined the American patriots fighting for freedom. While human rights and the question of what, “once tyranny had been vanquished...would take its place?” concerned him all his life, this idealist was also out for battlefield glory and public acclaim (he included honor among his essential Rights of Man). Recounting the story of The Marquis (Knopf, $30) as a colorful tapestry of biography, history, and political philosophy, Laura Auricchio—also an art historian, who mines period images for telling details of events and attitudes, including pornography linking Lafayette to Marie Antoinette—illuminates both Lafayette’s thinking and the two very different revolutions he played a prominent part in. Returning to France a seasoned leader, Lafayette nonetheless couldn’t hold his homeland together, and a mix of mobs, rivals, and rumors soon sent him into exile. Imprisoned in Austria in 1792, the Marquis became an international cause and was freed in 1797, with grudging intervention from the United States, which discouraged the return of its honorary citizen. Like Washington, Lafayette left public life for his rural estate, devoting his last three decades to using science to improve farming “for the betterment of mankind.”

The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered By Laura Auricchio Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307387455
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Vintage - August 18th, 2015