He wrote an account of his travels as interesting as any other of the 18th century. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Library of Congress. French political philosopher Montesquieu was best known for The Spirit of Laws (1748), one of the great works in the history of political theory and of jurisprudence. He made a surprising detour into Hungary to examine the mines. Going to Paris in 1722, he was assisted in entering court circles by the duke of Berwick, the exiled Stuart prince whom he had known when Berwick was military governor at Bordeaux. The fragments contain the beginning, an inserted story, and the closure of the book. When she died in 1696, the barony of La Brède passed to Charles-Louis, who was her eldest child, then aged seven. He was called back to Bordeaux by the death of his father in 1713. Two years later he married Jeanne de Lartigue, a wealthy Protestant, who brought him a respectable dowry of 100,000 livres and in due course presented him with two daughters and a son, Jean-Baptiste. He left Juilly in 1705, continued his studies at the faculty of law at the University of Bordeaux, graduated, and became an advocate in 1708. He settled down to exercise his judicial function (engaging to this end in the minute study of Roman law), to administer his property, and to advance his knowledge of the sciences—especially of geology, biology, and physics—which he studied in the newly formed academy of Bordeaux. His father, Jacques de Secondat, belonged to an old military family of modest wealth that had been ennobled in the 16th century for services to the crown, while his mother, Marie-Françoise de Pesnel, was a pious lady of partial English extraction. Montesquieu’s full name is baron de la Brede et de Montesquieu—popularly known as Montesquieu. This exceedingly successful work mocks the reign of Louis XIV, which had only recently ended; pokes fun at all social classes; discusses, in its allegorical story of the Troglodytes, the theories of Thomas Hobbes relating to the state of nature. Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu was born on January 18, 1689, at the castle of La Brède near Bordeaux. Montesquieu’s father, Jacques de Secondat, belonged to an old military family of modest wealth that had been ennobled in the 16th century for services to the crown, while his mother, Marie-Françoise de Pesnel, was a pious lady of partial English extraction. In Vienna he met the soldier and statesman Prince Eugene of Savoy and discussed French politics with him. Montesquieu, Baron de la Brede et de Montesquieu, Charles Louis de Secondat (noun) French political philosopher who advocated the separation of executive and legislative and judicial powers (1689-1755) Charles-Louis left Juilly in 1705, continued his studies at the faculty of law at the University of Bordeaux, graduated, and became an advocate in 1708; soon after he appears to have moved to Paris in order to obtain practical experience in law. His position was one of some dignity. The novel displays a highly original play with perspectives, oscillating between the Orient and Europe, and commenting both on Persia and France through the various characters and their backgrounds. He criticized French society and especially the excesses of absolutism. how to pronounce montesquieu's full name Posted on November 4, 2020 by While addressing French readers of his General Theory, John Maynard Keynes described Montesquieu as "the real French equivalent of Adam Smith, the greatest of your economists, head and shoulders above the physiocrats in penetration, clear-headedness and good sense (which are the qualities an economist … The novel Lettres persanes consists of the correspondence of the Persian notables Usbek and Rica, travelling to Europe, with several persons at home, especially the eunuch of the harem and some of the women. Premium Membership is now 50% off! Save 50% off a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Montesquieu, The Catholic Encyclopedia - Biography of Charles-Louis de Secondat Montesquieu, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - Biography of Baron de Montesquieu, Charles-Louis de Secondat, Alpha History - Biography of Baron de Montesquieu, Montesquieu - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up), “Reflections on the Causes of the Grandeur and Decline of the Romans”. The new ideas fermenting in Paris had received their most-scintillating expression. In 1721 he surprised all but a few close friends by publishing his Lettres persanes (Persian Letters, 1722), in which he gave a brilliant satirical portrait of French and particularly Parisian civilization, supposedly seen through the eyes of two Persian travellers. MONTESQUIEU Charles Louis Secondat, Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu (1689-1755), whose name is usually shortened to Montesquieu, was a French philosopher and author, who is considered one of the founders of sociology as a scholarly discipline. In 1721 he published his highly influential novel in letters Lettres persanes, which contains a sharp critique of French society presented through the fictional letters of a Persian notable. It was much patronized by the prominent families of Bordeaux, and the priests of the Oratory, to whom it belonged, provided a sound education on enlightened and modern lines. The novel shows the influence of the epistolary work Lettres d’un espion turc by Giovanni Paolo Marana (1642-1693), which was first published in Italian in 1684 (in French 1686), and which contains a series of fictional reports about French society, presumably written by a Turkish ‘spy’ observing European societies. Marie-Louise Dufrenoy, L’Orient romanesque en France (1704-1789), 3 vols., Montreal: Beauchemin (vols. Conzague Truc (éd. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Updates? His stay in England was one of the most formative periods of his life. It sparked off a true genre of epistolary literature of various kinds, which greatly contributed to all kinds of literary experimentation during the 18th century, throughout Europe. In the anthology we include a fragment of Montesquieu’s epistolary novel Lettres persanes (1721; supplement 1754). In Paris his interest in the routine activities of the Parlement in Bordeaux, however, had dwindled. Suzanne Rodin Pucci, ‘The discrete charms of the exotic: fictions of the harem in eighteenth-century France,’ in: G.S. His office was marketable, and in 1726 he sold it, a move that served both to reestablish his fortunes, depleted by life in the capital, and to assist him, by lending colour to his claim to be resident in Paris, in his attempt to enter the Académie Française. Courtesy of the. Educated first at home and then in the village, he was sent away to school in 1700. . The young Montesquieu, at 27, was now socially and financially secure. He was among the most influential thinkers of … Conscientiously examining the galleries of Florence, notebook in hand, he developed his aesthetic sense. Baron de Montesquieu was one of the great political philosophers of the Enlightenment period, and brought forward many great ideas and thoughts In 1716 his uncle, Jean-Baptiste, baron de Montesquieu, died and left to his nephew his estates, with the barony of Montesquieu, near Agen, and the office of deputy president in the Parlement of Bordeaux. Montesquieu had a wide circle of acquaintances in England. He loved to read and write and, like the utilitarian thinker he spent his life in reading and writing. Was a French lawyer, man of letters, and political In Naples he skeptically witnessed the liquefaction of the blood of the city’s patron saint. He entered Italy, and, after tasting the pleasures of Venice, proceeded to visit most of the other cities. He was presented at court, and he was received by the prince of Wales, at whose request he later made an anthology of French songs. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Montesquieu was sent in 1700 to the Collège de Juilly, close to Paris, which provided a sound education on enlightened and modern lines. 3), 1946-1975. Montesquieu. He was among the most influential thinkers of the French Enlightenment. He attended parliamentary debates and read the political journals of the day. Major Works The Persian letters are the reflection of two Iran characters that were visiting France showing the problems of the society in those times. Montesquieu was born on La Brède near Bordeaux, studied law in Bordeaux where he inhereted the Barony of Montesquieu and became a member of parliament. From Italy he moved through Germany to Holland and thence (at the end of October 1729), in the company of the statesman and wit Lord Chesterfield, to England, where he remained until the spring of 1731.