. He was born in a French noble family in 1689 and died in 1755. The novel Lettres persanes consists of the correspondence of the Persian notables Usbek and Rica, travelling to Europe, with several persons at home, especially the eunuch of the harem and some of the women. Montesquieu now sought to reinforce his literary achievement with social success. Two years later he married Jeanne de Lartigue, a wealthy Protestant, who brought him a respectable dowry of 100,000 livres and in due course presented him with two daughters and a son, Jean-Baptiste. Montesquieu’s father, Jacques de Secondat, belonged to an old military family of modest wealth that had been ennobled in the 16th century for services to the crown, while his mother, Marie-Françoise de Pesnel, was a pious lady of partial English extraction. Suzanne Rodin Pucci, ‘The discrete charms of the exotic: fictions of the harem in eighteenth-century France,’ in: G.S. Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède and de Montesquieu (often known as Montesquieu) was born during the Age of Enlightenment. Save 50% off a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. The novel is not just a ‘mirror’ for European societies, but also shows how a system of Oriental despotism disintegrates due to the absence of the ‘ruler’ and its incompatibility with the feminine ‘temperament’. 3), 1946-1975. His stay in England was one of the most formative periods of his life. A vacancy there arose in October 1727. In 1721 he published his highly influential novel in letters Lettres persanes, which contains a sharp critique of French society presented through the fictional letters of a Persian notable. Was a French lawyer, man of letters, and political Conscientiously examining the galleries of Florence, notebook in hand, he developed his aesthetic sense. French political philosopher Montesquieu was best known for The Spirit of Laws (1748), one of the great works in the history of political theory and of jurisprudence. with a long noble ancestry, and his mother, Marie Françoise de Pesnel, who died when Charles Louis was seven, was an heiress (a woman with a large monetary inheritance) who … While Usbek and Rica report about their explorations of Europe and comment on the manners and customs they encounter, and the forms of government, the situation in the palace at home deteriorates because of a rebellion of the harem ladies. The fragments contain the beginning, an inserted story, and the closure of the book. Alain Cambier, Montesquieu et la liberté, Éditions Hermann, Paris 2010. Montesquieu’s full name is baron de la Brede et de Montesquieu—popularly known as Montesquieu. His office was marketable, and in 1726 he sold it, a move that served both to reestablish his fortunes, depleted by life in the capital, and to assist him, by lending colour to his claim to be resident in Paris, in his attempt to enter the Académie Française. A second major work is De l’esprit des lois, an extensive study of the government of several countries, in which Montesquieu unfolds his ideas on statecraft and society. As his full name Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, was born on January 19th, 1689 at La Brède France. His main political thesis is that despotism can only be avoided by the presence of a strong nobility, which should secure the implementation of a system of law and should act as an intermediary between the monarch and the people. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. how to pronounce montesquieu's full name Posted on November 4, 2020 by While addressing French readers of his General Theory, John Maynard Keynes described Montesquieu as "the real French equivalent of Adam Smith, the greatest of your economists, head and shoulders above the physiocrats in penetration, clear-headedness and good sense (which are the qualities an economist … In 1716 his uncle, Jean-Baptiste, baron de Montesquieu, died and left to his nephew his estates, with the barony of Montesquieu, near Agen, and the office of deputy president in the Parlement of Bordeaux. He was among the most influential thinkers of the French Enlightenment. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? But he does not appear to have been either faithful or greatly devoted to her. The tone of life at court was set by the rakish regent, the duc d’Orléans, and Montesquieu did not disdain its dissipations. In the anthology we include a fragment of Montesquieu’s epistolary novel Lettres persanes (1721; supplement 1754). Updates? From Italy he moved through Germany to Holland and thence (at the end of October 1729), in the company of the statesman and wit Lord Chesterfield, to England, where he remained until the spring of 1731. Louis Desgraves, Montesquieu, Fayard, Paris 1998. http://montesquieu.ens-lyon.fr/ (Société Montesquieu), http://montesquieu.ens-lyon.fr/spip.php?article902 (Collected works), http://montesquieu.ens-lyon.fr/spip.php?rubrique153 (Critical essays), Encounters with the Orient - University of Kent. He left Juilly in 1705, continued his studies at the faculty of law at the University of Bordeaux, graduated, and became an advocate in 1708. In Naples he skeptically witnessed the liquefaction of the blood of the city’s patron saint. Library of Congress. Educated first at home and then in the village, he was sent away to school in 1700. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. He attended parliamentary debates and read the political journals of the day. In Vienna he met the soldier and statesman Prince Eugene of Savoy and discussed French politics with him. This official recognition of his talent might have caused him to remain in Paris to enjoy it. He bought extensively for his library. He loved to read and write and, like the utilitarian thinker he spent his life in reading and writing. Charles Louis Secondat, Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu (1689-1755), whose name is usually shortened to Montesquieu, was a French philosopher and author, who is considered one of the founders of sociology as a scholarly discipline. ), Éditions Garnier, Paris 1946, pp. 1-2), Amsterdam: Rodopi (vol. MONTESQUIEU Charles Louis Secondat, Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu (1689-1755), whose name is usually shortened to Montesquieu, was a French philosopher and author, who is considered one of the founders of sociology as a scholarly discipline. Conzague Truc (éd. He became a Freemason. When she died in 1696, the barony of La Brède passed to Charles-Louis, who was her eldest child, then aged seven.
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