- Historical event:
- 15 September 1613
- François de La Rochefoucauld is known as the author of Maxims (French: Maximes). It is a collection of his moral sayings, which have occupied intellectuals’ thoughts for centuries. François de La Rochefoucauld first published his Maxims in 1665.
This day in 1613 marked the birth of François de La Rochefoucauld, the famous French writer of aristocratic origin.
He had extraordinarily high status among the French nobility, because he was a member of one of the most prominent French aristocratic families.
Specifically, François de La Rochefoucauld held the title of Duc et Pair, which was the highest title in the French aristocratic hierarchy.
In his youth, François de La Rochefoucauld held the title Prince de Marcillac. The eldest sons of de La Rochefoucauld dukes were traditionally addressed as “Princes de Marcillac”.
When his father died, he inherited the title of Duke de La Rochefoucauld, as head of his house. At the time, he was about 37 years old.
François de La Rochefoucauld was a contemporary of Cardinal Richelieu, Molière, Rembrandt, Pascal, Descartes etc. (Alexandre Dumas the Elder described this period in his novels about the three musketeers). Louis XIII ruled France, and the country was later ruled by Louis XIV, known as the Sun King.
François de La Rochefoucauld is known as the author of Maxims (French: Maximes). It is a collection of his moral sayings, which have occupied intellectuals’ thoughts for centuries.
François de La Rochefoucauld anonymously published Maxims in 1665, under the full name Réflexions ou sentences et maximes morales (“Reflections; Or Sentences and Moral Maxims”).
There were more than 500 editions, and the maxims were generally short (one or more lines), and easy to read. They were concise moral lessons.
Duke de La Rochefoucauld died in Paris in 1680. At the time, King Louis XIV was 41 years old, and built the Palace of Versailles.