Secret Memoirs of the Regency; The Minority of Louis XV
Duclos was in his time, as much as his contemporaries Diderot or Voltaire, one of the great personages of the republic of letters; he was, more than ... Show synopsis Duclos was in his time, as much as his contemporaries Diderot or Voltaire, one of the great personages of the republic of letters; he was, more than any other writer, loaded with titles and honors. He became in turn mayor of Dinan, deputy to the Etats of Brittany, member of the Acadmie Franaise when about forty years of age, historiographer of France, then finally, in 1775, secrtaire perptuel of the Acadmie. In his capacity of historiographer, he had access to all the departments of the administration and specially had at his disposal the papers of the library of the minister of Foreign Affairs. On the death of Saint-Simon many manuscripts containing secrets of State were seized and from these Duclos drew most interesting Memoirs; those of the Regency written in a lively and at times remarkable style sustain the interest throughout. Apart from the secret papers from which he drew, his own experiences were of service to him, for having been born in 1704, and having died at the age of sixty-eight, he had seen the times and the changes of which he speaks. "I have personally known," he says in his own Introduction to the Memoirs, "the greater number of those of whom I shall have occasion to speak; I have lived with several of them, and, having played no part, am able to judge the actors."