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Beaumarchais: A Biography
Playwright, politician, publisher, entrepreneur, spy, and rebel: few men of eighteenth-century letters led a more varied or controversial life than Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais. From humble beginnings as a watchmaker to exalted fame as the author of "The Marriage of Figaro," Beaumarchais was a self-made man in a time when self-fashioning was close to impossible, a ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
(first published 1999)
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Although his name is not a particularly famous one, fans of opera will likely have heard of Beaumarchais' justly famous plays "The Barber Of Seville" and "The Marriage Of Figaro" , both of which have endured through the centuries as comic masterpieces and as culturally important in setting the stage for the French Revolution. Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais was, perhaps unsurprisingly, a very Nathanish sort of man and this biography is a great one. This is a life that is worthy of havin ...more
I discovered with this book I am not particularly interested in pre-revolutionary France. I really liked the last quarter which dealt with Beaumarchais and the French revolution. I found the rest of the book a bit boring as I did not really care about The Marriage of Figaro, etc., or the fact he convinced France to finance the American revolution. The book is not a bad book. I simply was not really interested in the subject matter.