de Chateaubriand, François-René - Memoirs from Beyond the Tomb - ( Item 129379 )
Published in London by Folio Society. 2016. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Fine slipcase. Abridged edition using the 1961 Robert Baldick translation. Bound in blocked cloth. Set in Van Dijck. 416 pages. Frontispiece and 12 pages of coloured plates, and 8 black & white integrated images. Printed endpapers. Plain slipcase 10" x 6¼". Introduced by Philip Mansel. Translated by Robert Baldick. Chateaubriand requested that his memoirs remain unpublished until after his death lest he be forced to be 'less frank and truthful'. The result is a hugely entertaining autobiography, providing a vivid picture of France during the most tumultuous period of her history. By the time he came to write his memoirs, François-René de Chateaubriand had lived enough to fill the biographies of ten men. Born in St Malo in 1768 to a wealthy family, he was to become a soldier, a traveller, a politician and a celebrated writer. Disturbed by the violent excesses of the Revolution, he fled to America in 1791, where he claimed to have interviewed George Washington. Always a monarchist at heart, he joined a Royalist army on returning to France in 1792 and reluctantly got married, but was wounded in battle and exiled to England, leaving behind his new bride. Returning to France for a second time – on this occasion leaving behind an English mistress – Chateaubriand became a favourite of Napoleon, who appointed him minister to Valais. However, disgusted by Napoleon’s decision to execute Louis XVI's cousin, Chateaubriand left once again and travelled through Greece, Palestine and Egypt. On his return to France he wrote a damning criticism of Napoleon, who threatened to have him 'sabred on the steps of the Tuileries'.
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