Catalogue


Mirabeau /
Barbara Luttrell.
imprint
Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, c1990.
description
ix, 307 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0809317052
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, c1990.
isbn
0809317052
catalogue key
2522654
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 293-298) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1991-09:
A splendid biography and a first-rate piece of political theory. In keeping with the revisionist histories of the French Revolution such as Francois Furet's Interpreting the French Revolution (CH, Apr'82), Luttrell presents Honore-Gabriel de Mirabeau (1749-1791) in a fresh light. Although he remains a bankrupt and a rake (and many more epithets are used), he is also a brilliant theorist for the liberty and virtue sought in the first exciting years of the Revolution. His fault, which surely would have brought him to the guillotine had he lived, was his adamant belief in the soundness of a constitutional monarchy. Unfortunately for Mirabeau, he had very little to work with from the crown's side and was increasingly the target of the Jacobin left. In fact, Mirabeau was "a radical who was a monarchist, and. . .a monarchist who was a democrat." Through a wealth of family correspondence and the count's many political tracts and speeches, Luttrell successfully rehabilitates this champion of the Revolution, and does so in the context of the intrigue and electricity of the National and Legislative Assemblies. College and university libraries. -J. E. Brink, Texas Tech University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 1991
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Summaries
Main Description
Repeatedly imprisoned by his father, nearly murdered by his mother (the pistol misfired), and publicly cuckolded by his wife, Mirabeau was for a time the political linchpin of France. Barbara Luttrell presents Gabriel-Honore Mirabeau in all the enigmatic personal and philosophic complexity that so frustrated both royalists and Jacobins. From the first announcement of the Estates General, Mirabeau was known to be a radical who was a monarchist, and a monarchist who was a democrat. Amidst the tumult of revolutionary France, he would not be forgiven for advancing reason before partisan passion. Mirabeau knew his circumstances were precarious. In a letter to his collaborator Mauvillon he remarked, "I have been criticized by everyone because I do not echo the fanaticism for the parlements. In fact I have not written anything for the other side either; I have always believed that between the King and the parlements there is a poor, obscure little party called the nation, to which sensible, honest men should belong." Upon his death, public ambivalence toward him was temporarily suspended. On April 4, 1792, his remains were carried to the unfinished church of Sainte-Genevieve to lie beside Descartes in the crypt of the old church until the new edifice was completed. The cortege that accompanied his body wound three miles through the streets of Paris. But there was to be no rest for Mirabeau even in death. On September 21, 1794, his remains were removed from the vaults of the Pantheon in official disgrace and deposited in an ordinary burial ground. When in July 1797 the Council of Five Hundred moved to restore Mirabeau's coffin to the Pantheon, no trace of his remains could be found.
Main Description
Repeatedly imprisoned by his father, nearly murdered by his mother (the pistol misfired), and publicly cuckolded by his wife, Mirabeau was for a time the political linchpin of France. Barbara Luttrell presents Gabriel-Honore Mirabeau in all the enigmatic personal and philosophic complexity that so frustrated both royalists and Jacobins. From the first announcement of the Estates General, Mirabeau was known to be a radical who was a monarchist, and a monarchist who was a democrat. Amidst the tumult of revolutionary France, he would not be forgiven for advancing reason before partisan passion. Mirabeau knew his circumstances were precarious. In a letter to his collaborator Mauvillon he remarked, "I have been criticized by everyone because I do not echo the fanaticism for theparlements.In fact I have not written anything for the other side either; I have always believed that between the King and theparlementsthere is a poor, obscure little party called the nation, to which sensible, honest men should belong." Upon his death, public ambivalence toward him was temporarily suspended. On April 4, 1792, his remains were carried to the unfinished church of Sainte-Genevieve to lie beside Descartes in the crypt of the old church until the new edifice was completed. The cortege that accompanied his body wound three miles through the streets of Paris. But there was to be no rest for Mirabeau even in death. On September 21, 1794, his remains were removed from the vaults of the Pantheon in official disgrace and deposited in an ordinary burial ground. When in July 1797 the Council of Five Hundred moved to restore Mirabeau's coffin to the Pantheon, no trace of his remains could be found.

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