Improbable Patriot

Improbable Patriot
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To learn more about cookies, please see our cookie policy. To learn more about how we use and protect your data, please see our privacy policy. Subjects History Nonfiction. History Nonfiction. It was this invention that first brought him to the attention of King Louis XV and the royal court.

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Once in the royal circle, Beaumarchais wasted no time in establishing his genius to the delight of many of the royal court. As a skilled musician and poet he was a delight to royal princesses. However, as commoner who entered the royal circle through superior skills and talent he was envied by many aristocrats by birth and of much lesser talent.

But as Beaumarchais' stature rose so did the power of his enemies and resentment of his commoner birth. In Beaumarchais gave his court enemies the opening they needed when he spent a year in Madrid establishing a Spanish company for his financial mentor.

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Upon his return to France Beaumarchais' life rapidly became very complicated. In his absence his home was in turmoil and he lost the interest and patronage of the royal princesses. Also, events in America were heating up. It is now that Beaumarchais retaliates against the ruling class and authors his first literary triumph, Le Barbier de Seville -- "The Barber of Seville". Throughout the 's Beaumarchais' fortunes take a number of turns.

His court enemies retaliate. He is arrested, thrown in jail for being "too insolent". While imprisoned Beaumarchais is unable to defend himself in an unjust law suit and is financially ruined. However, via the sharpness of his pen, he is able to exact revenge by exposing the corrupt judicial system. His cleverness and guile comes to the attention of King Louis XVI He successfully serves the new King and foreign minster, comte de Vergennes, as a spy to retrieve incriminating secret documents from a transsexual former French spy in London.

While in London, Beaumarchais forms a friendship with the American, Arthur Lee and is enlisted to help our fight with France's long time enemy.

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USD This book is not yet featured on Listopia. With the help of Vergennes but as a private citizen, Beaumarchais established a Spanish company to secretly purchase arms and supplies from the French government and supply them to Washington's troops. From Pro Football Talk :. Academic journal article The Historian.

With the help of Vergennes but as a private citizen, Beaumarchais established a Spanish company to secretly purchase arms and supplies from the French government and supply them to Washington's troops. Payment for the arms was to come by the returning ships bringing tobacco and other goods back for sale.

Beaumarchais was awarded contracts for the arms from Silas Deane, Connecticut merchant and member of Congress.

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While in sound in principle, in practice it was a financial disaster. Beaumarchais was to never see of these proceeds as Congress repeatedly dodged the obligation erroneously reasoning the materials as a "gift" from France! At the close of his arms venture, Beaumarchais again turned to literature and his assault on the aristocracy penning Le Mariage de Figaro --The Marriage of Figaro.

American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot

Once again Beaumarchais is imprisoned, this time by the King. However, the King's move backfires and Beaumarchais' popularity results in a populous uproar that forces the King to retract his orders. The King also makes financial amends. Beaumarchais' literary triumphs have made him a popular hero which allows him to survive the multiple insanities that mark the French revolution of the 's.

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In summary, Mr. Unger has penned a book worthy of the extraordinary life of Monsieur de Beaumarchais. He has aptly honored a largely forgotten hero of our fight for independence and in the process rewards the reader. I six short hours Mr Unger was able to transport me to 18th century France and the tumultuous time, not only of revolutionary Europe and America, but of the seemingly hapless son of a clockmaker.

Several weeks ago I was lamenting my lack of knowledge of the French Revolution, a day later "Improbable Patriot" hit the market. Recounting Monsieur de Beaumarchais' life provides the tone of pre-revolutionary France; debauchery of nobility and authoritarian rule of the monarchy set the stage for post-American Revolutionary sentiment on continental Europe.

Ensuing violent changes of power in addition to bungling governance and undo market influence coupled with inflationary policies, the deadliest regime in Europe until the mid 20th century occurred during Beaumarchias' lifetime. A fiction writer would be hard pressed to draft a story as turbulent as the life of Beaumarchais, a commoner-come-nobility. Heartbreaking instance after instance, this honest man gains notoriety and wealth only to see it confiscated or never realized due to untimely deaths and no documentation. Several times, he advances monies to secure American or French goals of security, only to be thwarted by subterfuge or poor timing.

Worse than losing monetary comfort, the playwright, at one point loses all civil rights and later in life has his citizenship revoked and is treated as an emigre and faces death if he returns to France. Each time loses his wealth or links to France, he has them restored through perseverance. I find Mr Unger very enjoyable to read and always informative and well studied.

My fears of struggling through "Improbable Patriot" due to the amount of French woven into the biography, Harlow Unger writes in a way approachable by the weakest of readers. This is an astonishing ribald tale of a French character.

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His genius, cunning, and indefatigable energy and good will repeatedly bumped up against the French king and nobility. He lost everything many times but came back with perseverance. It's an excellent story well told. America owes much to him, at least as much as it owes Lafayette, but has never given him his due.

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Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais was an eighteenth-century French inventor, famed playwright, and upstart near-aristocrat in the court of King Louis XVI. In , he conceived an audacious plan to send aid to the American rebels. To some, he was a dashing hero―a towering. Improbable Patriot: The Secret History of Monsieur de Beaumarchais, the French Playwright Who Saved the American Revolution.

Reece Wallace, a professional freeride mountain biker, was riding down a trail at the Whistler Mountain Bike Park in Vancouver, Canada, when …. Learn More. One amazing stat reveals just how improbable the Patriots' Super Bowl comeback was. Sorry to throw salt on the wound, Atlanta Falcons die-hards. More FTW.

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