Alphonse de Lamartine

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Alphonse de Lamartine
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Alphonse de Lamartine by François Gérard (1831)
Member of the National Assembly
for Saône-et-Loire
In office
8 July 1849 2 December 1851
Preceded by Charles Rolland
Succeeded by End of the Second Republic
Constituency Mâcon
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
24 February 1848 11 May 1848
Prime Minister Jacques-Charles Dupont
Preceded by François Guizot (also Prime Minister)
Succeeded by Jules Bastide
Member of the National Assembly
for Bouches-du-Rhône
In office
4 May 1848 26 May 1849
Preceded byNew constituency
Succeeded by Joseph Marcellin Rulhières
Constituency Marseille
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
for Saône-et-Loire
In office
4 November 1837 24 February 1848
Preceded by Claude-Louis Mathieu
Succeeded by Charles Rolland
Constituency Mâcon
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
for Nord
In office
7 January 1833 3 October 1837
Preceded by Paul Lemaire
Succeeded by Louis de Hau de Staplande
Constituency Bergues
Personal details
Born
Alphonse Marie Louis de Prat de Lamartine

(1790-10-21)21 October 1790
Mâcon, Burgundy, France
Died28 February 1869(1869-02-28) (aged 78)
Paris, Île-de-France, French Empire
Political party Social Party [1] (1833–1837)
Third Party (1837–1848)
Moderate Republican (1848–1851)
Spouse(s)
Mary Ann Elisa Birch
(m. 1820;her d. 1863)
ChildrenFelix
Marie Louise
Education Belley College
Profession Writer, poet
Writing career
Period 19th century
Genre Novel, poetry, history, theatre, biography
Subject Nature, love, spiritualism
Literary movement Romanticism
Notable works Graziella (1852)
Years active1811–1869

Signature Alphonse de Lamartine signing.jpg

Alphonse Marie Louis de Prat de Lamartine, Knight of Pratz (French:  [alfɔ̃s maʁi lwi dəpʁa də lamaʁtin] ; 21 October 1790 28 February 1869) was a French writer, poet and politician who was instrumental in the foundation of the Second Republic and the continuation of the Tricolore as the flag of France.

Pratz, Jura Commune in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, France

Pratz is a commune in the Jura department in Franche-Comté in eastern France.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

French Second Republic government of France between 1848-1852

The French Second Republic was a short-lived republican government of France under President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte. It lasted from the 1848 Revolution to the 1851 coup by which the president made himself Emperor Napoleon III and initiated the Second Empire. It officially adopted the motto of the First Republic, Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité. The Second Republic witnessed the tension between the "Social and Democratic Republic" and a liberal form of republicanism, which exploded during the June Days uprising of 1848.

Contents

Biography

Early years

Lamartine was born in Mâcon, Burgundy, on 21 October 1790. [2] His family were members of the French provincial nobility, and he spent his youth at the family estate. Lamartine is famous for his partly autobiographical poem, "Le lac" ("The Lake"), which describes in retrospect the fervent love shared by a couple from the point of view of the bereaved man. Lamartine was masterly in his use of French poetic forms. Raised a devout Catholic, Lamartine became a pantheist, writing Jocelyn and La Chute d'un ange. He wrote Histoire des Girondins in 1847 in praise of the Girondists.

Mâcon Prefecture and commune in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, France

Mâcon, historically anglicised as Mascon, is a city in east-central France. It is the prefecture of the department of Saône-et-Loire in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. Mâcon is home to over 34,000 residents, who are referred to in French as Mâconnais. The city gave its name to the nearby vineyards and wine 'appellation'.

Burgundy Region in France

Burgundy is a historical territory and a former administrative region of France. It takes its name from the Burgundians, an East Germanic people who moved westwards beyond the Rhine during the late Roman period.

Autobiography account of the life of a person, written by that person

An autobiography is a self-written account of the life of oneself. The word "autobiography" was first used deprecatingly by William Taylor in 1797 in the English periodical The Monthly Review, when he suggested the word as a hybrid, but condemned it as "pedantic". However, its next recorded use was in its present sense, by Robert Southey in 1809. Despite only being named early in the nineteenth century, first-person autobiographical writing originates in antiquity. Roy Pascal differentiates autobiography from the periodic self-reflective mode of journal or diary writing by noting that "[autobiography] is a review of a life from a particular moment in time, while the diary, however reflective it may be, moves through a series of moments in time". Autobiography thus takes stock of the autobiographer's life from the moment of composition. While biographers generally rely on a wide variety of documents and viewpoints, autobiography may be based entirely on the writer's memory. The memoir form is closely associated with autobiography but it tends, as Pascal claims, to focus less on the self and more on others during the autobiographer's review of his or her life.

Lamartine made his entrance into the field of poetry with a masterpiece, Les Méditations Poétiques (1820), and awoke to find himself famous. [3] He was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1825. He worked for the French embassy in Italy from 1825 to 1828. In 1829, he was elected a member of the Académie française. He was elected a deputy in 1833. In 1835 he published the "Voyage en Orient", a brilliant and bold account of the journey he had just made, in royal luxury, to the countries of the Orient, and in the course of which he had lost his only daughter. From then on he confined himself to prose.

The Legion of Honour is the highest French order of merit for military and civil merits, established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte and retained by all later French governments and régimes.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern and Western Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.

Académie française Pre-eminent council for the French language

The Académie française is the pre-eminent French council for matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution, it was restored as a division of the Institut de France in 1803 by Napoleon Bonaparte. It is the oldest of the five académies of the institute.

Political career

Around 1830, Lamartine's opinions shifted in the direction of liberalism. [1] When elected in 1833 to the National Assembly, he quickly founded his own "Social Party" with some influence from Saint-Simonian ideas and established himself as a prominent critic of the July Monarchy, becoming more and more of a republican in the monarchy's last years. [1] [4]

He was briefly in charge of the government during the turbulence of 1848. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 24 February 1848 to 11 May 1848. Due to his great age, Jacques-Charles Dupont de l'Eure, Chairman of the Provisional Government, effectively delegated many of his duties to Lamartine. He was then a member of the Executive Commission, the political body which served as France's joint Head of State.

Jacques-Charles Dupont de lEure French politician

Jacques-Charles Dupont de l'Eure was a French lawyer and statesman.

French Executive Commission (1848)

The Executive Commission of 1848 was a short-lived government during the French Second Republic, chaired by François Arago, that exercised executive power from 9 May 1848 to 24 June 1848. It succeeded the Provisional Government of 1848 and was in turn replaced by the Cabinet of General Cavaignac. The members of the Commission acted as joint head of state.

Lamartine was instrumental in the founding of the Second Republic of France, having met with Republican Deputies and journalists in the Hôtel de Ville to agree on the makeup of its provisional government. Lamartine himself was chosen to declare the Republic in traditional form in the balcony of the Hôtel de Ville, and ensured the continuation of the Tricouleur as the flag of the nation.

Hôtel de Ville, Paris town hall of Paris, France

The Hôtel de Ville in Paris, France, is the building housing the city's local administration, standing on the place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville in the 4th arrondissement. The south wing was originally constructed by François I beginning in 1535 until 1551. The north wing was built by Henry IV and Louis XIII between 1605 and 1628.It was burned by the Paris Commune, along with all the city archives that it contained, during the Commune's final days in May 1871. The outside was rebuilt following the original design, but larger, between 1874 and 1882, while the inside was considerably modified. It has been the headquarters of the municipality of Paris since 1357. It serves multiple functions, housing the local administration, the Mayor of Paris, and also serves as a venue for large receptions.

Flag of France national flagleds

The flag of France is a tricolour flag featuring three vertical bands coloured blue, white, and red. It is known to English speakers as the French Tricolour or simply the Tricolour. The Tricolour has become one of the most influential flags in history, with its three-colour scheme being copied by many other nations, both in Europe and the rest of the world.

On 25 February 1848 Lamartine said about the Tricolored Flag: "I spoke as a citizen earlier, well! Now listen to me, your Foreign Minister. If I remove the tricolor, know it, you will remove me half the external force of France! Because Europe knows the flag of his defeats and of our victories in the flag of the Republic and of the Empire. By seeing the red flag, they'll see the flag of a party! This is the flag of France, it is the flag of our victorious armies, it is the flag of our triumphs that must be addressed before Europe. France and the tricolor is the same thought, the same prestige, even terror, if necessary, for our enemies! Consider how much blood you would have to make for another flag fame! Citizens, for me, the red flag, I am not adopting it, and I'll tell you why I'm against with all the strength of my patriotism. It's that the tricolor has toured the world with the Republic and the Empire with your freedoms and your glory, and the red flag was that around the Champ-de-Mars, dragged into the people's blood." [5]

During his term as a politician in the Second Republic, he led efforts that culminated in the abolition of slavery and the death penalty, as well as the enshrinement of the right to work and the short-lived national workshop programs. A political idealist who supported democracy and pacifism, his moderate stance on most issues caused many of his followers to desert him. He was an unsuccessful candidate in the presidential election of 10 December 1848, receiving fewer than 19,000 votes. He subsequently retired from politics and dedicated himself to literature.

Final years and legacy

Lamartine photographed in 1865 Lamartine photography croppped.jpg
Lamartine photographed in 1865

He published volumes on the most varied subjects (history, criticism, personal confidences, literary conversations) especially during the Empire, when, having retired to private life and having become the prey of his creditors, he condemned himself to what he calls "literary hard-labor in order to exist and pay his debts". Lamartine ended his life in poverty, publishing monthly installments of the Cours familier de littérature to support himself. He died in Paris in 1869.

Nobel prize winner Frédéric Mistral's fame was in part due to the praise of Alphonse de Lamartine in the fortieth edition of his periodical Cours familier de littérature, following the publication of Mistral's long poem Mirèio . Mistral is the most revered writer in modern Occitan literature.

Lamartine is considered to be the first French romantic poet (though Charles-Julien Lioult de Chênedollé was working on similar innovations at the same time), and was acknowledged by Paul Verlaine and the Symbolists as an important influence.

Other interests

Lamartine's House in Plovdiv, Bulgaria Full view of Lamartine's House - Plovdiv, Bulgaria.JPG
Lamartine's House in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Alphonse de Lamartine was also an Orientalist with a particular interest in Lebanon and the Middle East. He travelled to Lebanon, Syria and the Holy Land in 1832–33. During that trip, while he was in Beirut, on 7 December 1832, he lost his only remaining child, Julia. During his trip to Lebanon he had met prince Bashir Shihab II and prince Simon Karam, who were enthusiasts of poetry. A valley in Lebanon is still called the Valley of Lamartine as a commemoration of that visit, and the Lebanon cedar forest still harbors the "Lamartine Cedar", which is said to be the cedar under which Lamartine had sat 200 years ago. Lamartine was so influenced by his trip that he staged his 1838 epic poem La Chute d'un ange (The Fall of an Angel) in Lebanon.

Raised by his mother to respect animal life, he found the eating of meat repugnant, saying 'One does not have one heart for Man and one for animals. One has a heart or one does not'. His writings in La chute d’un Ange (1838) and Les confidences (1849) would be taken up by supporters of vegetarianism in the twentieth century.

Religious belief

On the spirit of the times

Madame de Lamartine portraited by Jean-Leon Gerome (1849) Jean-Leon Gerome-portrait of a Lady-1849.jpg
Madame de Lamartine portraited by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1849)

Thanks to the increase of general reason, to the light of philosophy, to the inspiration of Christianity, to the progress of the idea of justice, of charity, and of fraternity, in laws, manners, and religion, society in America, in Europe, and in France, especially since the Revolution, has broken down all these barriers, all these denominations of caste, all these injurious distinctions among men. Society is composed only of various conditions, professions, functions, and ways of life, among those who form what we call a Nation; of proprietors of the soil, and proprietors of houses; of investments, of handicrafts, of merchants, of manufacturers, of formers; of day-laborers becoming fanners, manufacturers, merchants, or possessors of houses or capital, in their turn; of the rich, of those in easy circumstances, of the poor, of workmen with their hands, workmen with their minds; of day-laborers, of those in need, of a small number of men enjoying considerable acquired or inherited wealth, of others of a smaller fortune painfully increased and improved, of others with property only sufficient for their needs; there are some, finally, without any personal possession but their hands, and gleaning for themselves and for their families, in the workshop, or the field, and at the threshold of the homes of others on the earth, the asylum, the wages, the bread, the instruction, the tools, the daily pay, all those means of existence which they have neither inherited, saved, nor acquired. These last are what have been improperly called the People.

  • Atheism Among the People, by Alphonse de Lamartine 1850 p. 19-20 [6]

On Catholic priests

Alphonse de Lamartine as quoted in "A Priest" By Robert Nash (1943) on Catholic priests:

There is a man in every parish, having no family, but belonging to a family that is worldwide; who is called in as a witness and adviser in all the important affairs of human life. No one comes into the world or goes out of it without his ministrations. He takes the child from its mother’s arms, and parts with him only at the grave. He blesses and consecrates the cradle, the bridal chamber, the bed of death, and the bier. He is one whom innocent children instinctively venerate and reverence, and to whom men of venerable age come to seek for wisdom, and call him father; at whose feet men fall down and lay bare the innermost thoughts of their souls, and weep their most sacred tears. He is one whose mission is to console the afflicted, and soften the pains of body and soul; to whose door come alike the rich and the poor. He belongs to no social class, because he belongs equally to all. He is one, in fine, who knows all, has a right to speak unreservedly, and whose speech, inspired from on high, falls on the minds and hearts of all with the authority of one who is divinely sent, and with the constraining power of one who has an unclouded faith. [7]

On Muhammad

In his book "Histoire de la Turquie" (1854), Alphonse de Lamartine writes:

If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers, which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislation, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then-inhabited world; and more than that he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls.... [8] :154 His forbearance in victory, his ambition which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire, his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death - all these attest not to an imposture, but to a firm conviction, which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was two fold: the unity of God and the immateriality of God; the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with the words. Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational beliefs, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he. [8] :155

Bibliography

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 Jenson, Deborah (2001). Trauma and Its Representations: The Social Life of Mimesis in Post-Revolutionary France. Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 152–154.
  2. Whitehouse, Henry Remsen (1918). The Life of Lamartine, Volume 1. BiblioBazaar (2009). p. 13. ISBN   978-1-115-29659-5 . Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  3. Catholic Online. "Alphonse de Lamartine - Catholic Encyclopedia - Catholic Online". Catholic.org. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  4. Halsted, J.B. (1969). Alphonse de Lamartine: History of the Revolution of 1848. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 271–284.
  5. Alphonse de Lamartine, Trois mois au pouvoir, Paris, Michel Lévy, 1848.
  6. "Atheism among the people : Lamartine, Alphonse de, 1790-1869 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". Archive.org. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  7. Rev. Robert Nash. "A Priest" (PDF). Catholicpamplets.net. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  8. 1 2 de Lamartine, Alphonse (1855). History of Turkey, Volume 1. D. Appleton & Company.

Further reading

Political offices
Preceded by
Jacques-Charles Dupont de l'Eure
Chairman of the Provisional Government of the French Republic
Head of State of France
May 6 - June 28, 1848
Member of the Executive Commission along with:
François Arago
Louis-Antoine Garnier-Pagès
Alexandre Ledru-Rollin
Pierre Marie (de Saint-Georges)
Succeeded by
Louis-Eugène Cavaignac
President of the Council of Ministers