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February 21 , 2008

History of the Girondists [Christmas Summary Classics]


Christmas Summary Classics
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History of the Girondists
Alphonse Marie Louis de Lamartine, poet, historian, statesman, was born at Macon, in Burgundy, on October 21, 1790. Early in the nineteenth century he held a diplomatic appointment at Naples, and in 1820 succeeded after many difficulties, in finding a publisher for his first volume of poems, "Nouvelles Méditations." The merits of the work were at once recognised, and the young author soon found himself one of the most popular of the younger generation of French poets. He next adopted politics, and, with the Revolution of February, became for a brief time the soul of political life in France. But the triumph of imperialism and of Napoleon III. drove him into the background, whereupon he retired from public life, and devoted his remaining years to literature. He died on March I, 1869. The publication, in 1847, of his "History of the Girondists, or Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution, from Unpublished Sources," was in the nature of a political event in France. Brilliant in its romantic portraiture, the work, like many other French histories, served the purposes of a pamphlet as well as those of a chronicle.

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