IniciGrupsConversesMésTendències
Aquest lloc utilitza galetes per a oferir els nostres serveis, millorar el desenvolupament, per a anàlisis i (si no has iniciat la sessió) per a publicitat. Utilitzant LibraryThing acceptes que has llegit i entès els nostres Termes de servei i política de privacitat. L'ús que facis del lloc i dels seus serveis està subjecte a aquestes polítiques i termes.
Hide this

Resultats de Google Books

Clica una miniatura per anar a Google Books.

S'està carregant…

Improbable Patriot: The Secret History of Monsieur de Beaumarchais, the…

de Harlow Giles Unger

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
5813346,736 (4.09)9
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 1776, he conceived an audacious plan to send aid to the American rebels. What's more, he convinced the king to bankroll the project, and singlehandedly carried it out. By war's end, he had supplied Washington's army with most of its weapons and powder, though he was never paid or acknowledged by the United States. To some, he was a dashing hero--a towering intellect who saved the American Revolution. To others, he was pure rogue--a double-dealing adventurer who stopped at nothing to advance his fame and fortune. In fact, he was both, and more: an advisor to kings, an arms dealer, and author of some of the most enduring works of the stage, including The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville.… (més)
S'està carregant…

Apunta't a LibraryThing per saber si aquest llibre et pot agradar.

No hi ha cap discussió a Converses sobre aquesta obra.

» Mira també 9 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 13 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
Interesting account of the French role in bankrolling the American Revolution. The chief contributor being the playwrite Monsieur de Beaumarchais. I had only a vague knowledge of Beaumarchais prior to reading this account. I knew of him as a playwrite who influenced French public attitudes during the revolutionary period. I found the book well conceived, fast paced and informative. In the end I was left feeling the US government treated Beaumarchais shabilly at best and certainly has not adequately honored his contribution to the revolutionaries war effort. ( )
  Dmoorela | Jul 3, 2012 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
This review is based on a complimentary copy provided by the publisher through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.

This book is, in essense, a short biography of Beaumarchais, and on that level, it succeeds relatively well. Beaumarchais was an interesting character who lived an extraordinary life, and the book left me wanting to know more about him, which would be a flaw if the book were trying to do more and be a thorough treatment of his life. The book dwells a little longer on his financial dealings (i.e., arms trading) that played a role in the American Revolution (hence the subtitle) and also tries, albeit sometimes a little too hard, to connect his personal tragedies and philosophies with the motivations behind the fight for American independence. But the book covers the life of Beaumarchais from birth to death, and only during a fairly brief timeframe did the American Revolution play a role. Because of the cursory treatment of most topics, the book is a quick and enjoyable read.

I would also echo a few of the flaws with the book that others have mentioned. The parallels drawn between Beaumarchais and Figaro and the repeated use of this motif grew tiresome for me and seemed somewhat strained at times. On a lesser, but still noticeable, level, there were repeated phrases and descriptions that any moderately alert reader likely will find annoying. In at least one instance, there was a French phrase cited to the same source that was translated in two different ways; a minor hiccup, but one would expect a bit more attention to detail in a non-fiction work. Finally, on the topic of sources, the notes and citations were woefully inadequate. Since this book is more or less a short biography, I would have particularly appreciated, at a minimum, a "Further Reading" section discussing longer, more detailed biographies for those interested in a more exhaustive biography. Although other biographies are cited, it is limited to a citation; there is no indication of which one(s) Mr. Unger found more helpful, dated, biased, or comprehensive.

In sum, if you want a detailed treatment of of the life of Beaumarchais, you won't get it here, but it does serve as a decent and entertaining introduction to the man and the times in which he lived. ( )
  CharlemangeOKeeffe | Mar 6, 2012 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
Visiting Independence Hall in Philadelphia, I was surprised to see, hung in the side Chambers room two royal portraits. Turning to the Park Service Ranger in her ‘Smokey the Bear’ hat I asked why there were royals portrayed in this hallowed Revolutionary spot!? Smiling at my British accent she explained that they were of the French King Louis, and his Queen, not English royals at all. I recalled the history of the French support against the English in that particular affair, often forgotten or perhaps not even known of by many Americans, and punned back to her – ”Ah yes, the Funding Founders!”

Through books on George Washington and the Revolutionary War I had learned to admire the Marquis de La Fayette, who became almost a son to General George Washington. But I was not aware there was a further French hero who helped the Americans win their revolution – here is the story of Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, better known to us from his works Figaro and the Barber of Seville than for his amazing effort in the funding and arms-supplying to the newly-born America! The son of a clock-maker who hauled himself up as high as royalty by his own bootstraps Pierre is the ultimate republican, as American as apple-pie – yet French. An artistic arriviste, manipulating his way through fortunes, revolutions and marriages but almost personally funding an entire nation in its revolutionary war against a common enemy.

As for our Founding Fathers ….while the Continental Army slowly rotted away by desertion and near starvation in nearby Valley Forge, the snow covered with trails of their bloody foot-prints as only about a third of the army had any shoes, Congress, the author says, indulged in … “the incessant, often infantile backbiting that they euphemistically called congressional debate.” But for the funding of King Louis and the arms supply organized by Ben Franklin and Beaumarchais, the war might well have been lost and American independence never achieved.

Harlow Giles Unger supplies the reader with an easy entry into the complex issue of the war of American independence while detailing the incredible rise and many falls of this talented playwright, a model for his own most famous creation, Figaro.

Never even repaid by Congress for supplying fleet-loads of supplies to the impoverished Army, let alone recognized and honored, Beaumarchais sacrificed not just his own personal fortune (one of several he amazing made and lost) the playwright also lost all civil and citizenship rights through political intrigue in Paris and was at one stage sentenced to face death if he returned to France, his own country – no, not an Improbable Patriot at all, but a courageous one!
1 vota John_Vaughan | Feb 20, 2012 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
This is an often-lively narration of a little-known (at least to the general public) aspect of the American Revolution: just how the military aid from France was financed and put into effect.

However, this is a deeply flawed book. The flaws range from the merely annoying (the near word-for-word repetition of some depictions of events during the War) to the questionable (the close association of Beaumarchais with his most famous creation: Figaro) to the highly suspect (the insufficient evidence for the motivations behind the actions of Beaumarchais). Unger also deals in a fairly cursory fashion with one of the central problems of this entire episode in American history--that is, the controversy of how and whether the US government should pay for the arms and materiel. It would have been better if Unger had focused more on the connection of Beaumarchais to the Revolutionary War and its aftermath and devoted less space and energy to telling us, repeatedly and simplistically, that Beaumarchais was Figaro and Figaro was Beaumarchais.

Despite it's many flaws--or perhaps because of them--it makes a decent point of entry for this aspect of the Revolutionary War. That is, you'll definitely want to know more about Beaumarchais and the circumstances surrounding his rich and varied life. ( )
  cornerhouse | Feb 14, 2012 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
Before reading this book, all I knew of Beaumarchais was that he wrote the Figaro plays, which were later made into operas. Other than that, aside from the impression that he was a bit of a rogue, I knew nothing. After reading this book, while I know a lot more, I feel the "Beaumarchais" in this book is almost as fictional as his alter ego, Figaro. Unger does not present a very rounded picture of a man, making him seem quite the superman and his life like the plot of one of his plays. Partially, I suppose, this could be because his life WAS like one of his own plays, but Unger takes it a bit far, I think. For example, if all I knew of the battle of Saratoga was what Unger writes of it, I would think that it was Beaumarchais who beat the British. As it is, I believe General Horatio Gates had a little something to do with it.
So this isn't a very deep book, but still an enjoyable one. I now know a little more about Beaumarchais that I did, and that is a good thing. And Unger has included an extensive bibliography and citations to sources (as well as a listing of Beaumarchais' own works), and I can, if I feel I need to dig deeper, do so. So I am grateful to Mr. Unger for the introduction to Monsieur Beaumarchais, and look forward to future encounters with him when the occaision arises. ( )
  billiecat | Feb 9, 2012 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 13 (següent | mostra-les totes)
In almost any other age, you might have called Pierre-Augustin Caron an arriviste. He even gave himself the title by which we know him best, when at twenty-four he married the widow of his former boss Pierre-Augustin Franquet and, in the process, picked up an estate twenty-five miles south of Paris formerly belonging to a man named Beaumarchet. It did not take long for a young man on the rise to parley this into the officially recognized moniker “de Beaumarchais.” So began the steep ascent to fame and wealth, although by the time of his death in 1799 his fortunes had plummeted in the wake of the Revolution.
afegit per John_Vaughan | editaNew Criterion, Pat Rogers (Web de pagament) (Dec 28, 2011)
 
Though best known for his comic operas, like The Barber of Seville, Pierre de Beaumarchais delivered critical support to American rebels, writes historian Unger (American Tempest: How the Boston Tea Party Sparked a Revolution), and he makes a convincing case. Though always musically inclined, Beaumarchais, the gifted son of a clockmaker, as a young man invented the small mechanism that made the first wristwatch possible. This, plus charm and musical talent, won him royal favor, wealth, and enemies. Harassed and often imprisoned by powerful aristocrats, he responded with satirical writings, which made him famous. After Britain's North American colonies rebelled in 1775, Beaumarchais convinced reluctant royal officials to support them. With a large government loan, he set up a private company that made no profits (because the Continental Congress never paid), but which shipped arms that may have turned the tide at critical moments such as at Saratoga in 1777. Beaumarchais's literary wit translates poorly here, but readers will probably agree that he was the "most underrated French hero of the American Revolution." 38 illus. (Sept.)
afegit per libri_amor | editaPublishers Weekly (Jun 20, 2011)
 
Has d'iniciar sessió per poder modificar les dades del coneixement compartit.
Si et cal més ajuda, mira la pàgina d'ajuda del coneixement compartit.
Títol normalitzat
Títol original
Títols alternatius
Data original de publicació
Gent/Personatges
Informació del coneixement compartit en anglès. Modifica-la per localitzar-la a la teva llengua.
Llocs importants
Esdeveniments importants
Informació del coneixement compartit en anglès. Modifica-la per localitzar-la a la teva llengua.
Pel·lícules relacionades
Premis i honors
Epígraf
Dedicatòria
Primeres paraules
Citacions
Darreres paraules
Nota de desambiguació
Editor de l'editorial
Creadors de notes promocionals a la coberta
Llengua original
CDD/SMD canònics

Referències a aquesta obra en fonts externes.

Wikipedia en anglès (1)

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 1776, he conceived an audacious plan to send aid to the American rebels. What's more, he convinced the king to bankroll the project, and singlehandedly carried it out. By war's end, he had supplied Washington's army with most of its weapons and powder, though he was never paid or acknowledged by the United States. To some, he was a dashing hero--a towering intellect who saved the American Revolution. To others, he was pure rogue--a double-dealing adventurer who stopped at nothing to advance his fame and fortune. In fact, he was both, and more: an advisor to kings, an arms dealer, and author of some of the most enduring works of the stage, including The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville.

No s'han trobat descripcions de biblioteca.

Descripció del llibre
Sumari haiku

Autor amb llibres seus als Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing

El llibre de Harlow Giles Unger Improbable Patriot: The Secret History of Monsieur de Beaumarchais estava disponible a LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Dóna't d'alta per obtenir una còpia prèvia a canvi d'una ressenya.

Dreceres

Cobertes populars

Valoració

Mitjana: (4.09)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3 1
3.5 3
4 7
4.5 2
5 3

Ets tu?

Fes-te Autor del LibraryThing.

 

Quant a | Contacte | LibraryThing.com | Privadesa/Condicions | Ajuda/PMF | Blog | Botiga | APIs | TinyCat | Biblioteques llegades | Crítics Matiners | Coneixement comú | 155,699,591 llibres! | Barra superior: Sempre visible