Duc de Saint-Simon

Saint-Simon, Duc de

 

(Louis de Rouvroy). Born Jan. 16, 1675, in Paris; died there Mar. 2, 1755. French political figure and writer.

Saint-Simon was a member of the council of Regency during the minority of Louis XV (1715–23). Subsequently, he left the court and worked on his memoirs, which covered the period from 1694 through 1723. Although his Memoirs are not always objective or accurate, they contain very valuable information for the study of the everyday life and mores of the time. Saint-Simon revealed not only court intrigues but also the political situation in the country. He satirically described life at court and the new aristocracy, criticizing Louis XIV for infringing on the rights of the hereditary artistocracy. Saint-Simon’s attitude of opposition provoked dissatisfaction at the court. His complete memoirs (21 volumes) were not published until 1829.

WORKS

Mémoires, vols. 1–45. Paris, 1879–1930. (Les Grandes Ecrivains de la France.)
Ecrits inédits, vols. 1–8. Paris, 1880–93.
In Russian translation:
Memuary, vols. 1–2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1934–36.

REFERENCES

Porshnev, B. “Sen-Simon: Memuary” [review], Istorik-marksist, 1937, books 5–6.
Doumic, R. Saint-Simon: La France de Louis XIV. Paris, 1920.
Bastide, F. Saint-Simon par lui-même. Paris [1955].
Lévis Mirepoix. Le Coeur secret de Saint-Simon. Paris [1956].
References in classic literature ?
A rare genius who in a time of revolution would have made a brilliant appearance on the surface of events, but who in the fifteenth century was reduced to cavernous intrigues, and to "living in mines," as the Duc de Saint-Simon expresses it.
But Britons would nonetheless do well to heed the words of the Duc de Saint-Simon: "The Revocation of the edict of Nantes, without the least pretext or any necessity, depopulated a quarter of the kingdom, ruined its commerce, and weakened it in all its parts." Brexit will drive out fewer people, but the impact could be worse.
(70) The front pastedown is blank, (71) but the back pastedown is of interest, particularly to bibliographers of the duc de Saint-Simon (1675-1755), for it is a cancelled leaf of the first octavo edition (1788) of his famous Memoires.
Memoirs of Due de Saint-Simon, 1691-1709: Presented to the King, by Duc de Saint-Simon, translated by Lucy Norton.
Memoirs of Duc de Saint-Simon, 1715-1723: Fatal Weakness, by Duc de Saint-Simon, translated by Lucy Norton.
Comme le fait remarquer Marc Fumaroli (dans "Histoire et memoires"): avant les Memoires d'outre-tombe, et la Recherche du temps perdu de Proust, le genre des memoires etait generalement repute mineur en France (a l'exception des Memoires posthumes du cardinal de Retz, et ceux du duc de Saint-Simon), mais avait neanmoins de nombreux lecteurs.
Le duc de Saint-Simon et l'ecriture du mal: une lecture demonologique des "Memories." Paris: Champion, 2000.
The duc de Duras was said to be "more of a duke" than the egregious duc de Saint-Simon (famed through his memoirs as a fanatical stickler for niceties of rank).