Antoine de Rivarol

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Antoine de Rivarol
Portrait of Antoine de Rivarol.jpg
Portrait of Antoine de Rivarol, by Melchior Wyrsch.
Born Antoine Rivaroli
(1753-06-26)26 June 1753
Bagnols, Languedoc
Died 11 April 1801(1801-04-11) (aged 47)
Berlin, Brandenburg
Occupation Journalist
Nationality French

Antoine de Rivarol (26 June 1753 – 11 April 1801) was a Royalist[1] French writer during the Revolutionary era.[2][3] He was briefly married to the translator Louisa Henrietta de Rivarol.

Biography[edit]

Rivarol was born in Bagnols, Languedoc. It appears that his father, an innkeeper, was a cultivated man. The son assumed the title of comte de Rivarol, asserting a connection with a noble Italian family, but his enemies said his name was really Riverot and that he was not of a noble family. After various vicissitudes, he went to Paris in 1777 and won some academic prizes.[4]

In 1780 he married Louisa Henrietta de Rivarol, a translator of Scottish descent, and they had a short relationship which resulted in the birth of a son.[5] His wife had translated work by Samuel Johnson and Johnson had become a friend of his wife's family. His abandoned wife relied on the chairity of a Parisian nurse. To Antoine's embaressment, the nurse was awarded a prize for fulfillinh the obligations that he should have met. Antoine was not able to stop the prize but he was able to keep his wife's name out of the newspapers. He was divorced in 1784.[5]

In 1784, his Discours sur l'Universalité de la Langue Française and his translation of Dante's Inferno were favourably noted.[6][7] The year before the French Revolution broke out, he and Champcenetz published a lampoon, titled Petit Almanach de nos grands hommes pour 1788, that ridiculed without pity a number of writers of proven or future talent, along with a great many nobodies.[8]

Rivarol was the foremost journalist, commentator and epigrammatist among that faction of aristocrats which was most uncompromisingly reactionary: he heaped scorn upon republicanism and defended the Ancien Régime.[9][10]

Rivarol's writing was published in the Journal Politique of Antoine Sabatier de Castres and the Actes des Apotres of Jean Gabriel Peltier. He left France in 1792, first settling in Brussels, then moving successively to London, Hamburg, and Berlin, where he died. Rivarol's rivals in France – in sharp conversational sayings – included Alexis Piron and Nicolas Chamfort.

His brother, Claude François (1762–1848), was also an author. His works include a novel, Isman, ou le Fatalisme (1795); a comedy, Le Véridique (1827); and the history Essai sur les Causes de la Révolution Française (1827).

Works[edit]

  • (1782). Lettre Critique sur le Poème des Jardins.
  • (1783). Lettre à M. le Président de *** sur le globe Airostatique, sur les Têtes Parlantes et sur l’État Présent de l’Opinion Publique à Paris.
  • (1784). De l’Universalité de la Langue Française.
  • (1785). L’Enfer, Poème du Dante.
  • (1787). Récit du Portier du Sieur Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais.
  • (1788). Le Petit Almanach de nos Grands Hommes.
  • (1788). Première Lettre à M. Necker, sur l’Importance des Opinions Religieuses.
  • (1788). Seconde Lettre à M. Necker sur la Morale.
  • (1788). Le Songe d’Athalie (with Louis de Champcenetz).
  • (1789). Mémoire sur la Nature et la Valeur de l’Argent.
  • (1789). Le Petit Almanach de nos Grandes Femmes (with Louis de Champcenetz).
  • (1789). Journal Politique-national des États-Généraux et de la Révolution de 1789.
  • (1789). Adresse à MM. les Impartiaux ou Les Amis de la Paix Réunis chez Monseigneur le Duc de La Rochefoucault.
  • (1790). Petit Dictionnaire des Grands Hommes de la Révolution (with Louis de Champcenetz).
  • (1790). Triomphe de l’Anarchie.
  • (1790). Épître de Voltaire à Mlle Raucour, actrice du Théâtre-français.
  • (1790). Le Petit Almanach de nos Grands-hommes.
  • (1790). Réponse à la réponse de M. de Champcenetz au sujet de l’ouvrage de madame la B. de S*** sur Rousseau.
  • (1791). Essai sur la Nécessité du Mal.
  • (1792). De la Vie Politique.
  • (1792). Lettre à la Noblesse Française, au Moment de sa Rentrée en France sous les Ordres de M. le duc de Brunswick, Généralissime des Armées de l’Empereur et du Roi de Prusse.
  • (1792). Le Petit Almanach des Grands Spectacles de Paris.
  • (1793). Adresse du Peuple Belge, à S. M. l’Empereur.
  • (1795). Histoire Secrète de Coblence dans la Révolution Française.
  • (1797). Tableau Historique et Politique des Travaux de l’Assemblée Constituante, depuis l’Ouverture des États Généraux jusqu’après la Journée du 6 Octobre 1789.
  • (1797). Discours Préliminaire du Nouveau Dictionnaire de la Langue Française.
  • (1808). Œuvres Complètes, Précédées d’une Notice sur sa Vie [5 vol.].

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beum, Robert (1997). "Ultra-Royalism Revisited," Modern Age 39 (3), p. 316.
  2. ^ Faÿ, Bernard (1978). Rivarol et la Révolution. Paris: Librairie Académique Perin.
  3. ^ Baranger, Valérie (2007). Rivarol Face à la Révolution Française. Éditions de Paris.
  4. ^ Barth, Hans (1960). "Antoine de Rivarol and the French Revolution." In: The Idea of Order: Contributions to a Philosophy of Politics. Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel Publishing Co., p. 49.
  5. ^ a b J. G. Alger, ‘Rivarol , Louisa Henrietta de (b. before 1750, d. 1821)’, rev. Rebecca Mills, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 6 Dec 2014
  6. ^ Kerslake, Lawrence (1981). "Rivarol's Evaluation and Translation of Dante," Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 12, pp. 81–105.
  7. ^ Osen, James L. (1995). Royalist Political Thought During the French Revolution. Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 31.
  8. ^ "Antoine de Rivarol," Nation 32, No. 834, (23 June 1881): 438–439.
  9. ^ Lefebvre, Georges (1962). The French Revolution 1. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 141. 
  10. ^ Matyaszewski, Paweł (1997). La Pensée Politique d'Antoine de Rivarol. Lublin: Towarzystwo Naukowe Katolickiego Uniwersytetu Lubelskiego.

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bauër, Gérard (1962). Les Moralistes Français: La Rochefoucauld; La Bruyère; Vauvenargues; Chamfort; Rivarol; Joubert. Paris: Editions A. Michel.
  • Cointat, Michel (2003). Rivarol (1753-1801): Un Écrivain Controversé. Paris: L'Harmattan.
  • Coski, Christopher (2011). From Barbarism to Universality: Language and Identity in Early Modern France. University of South Carolina Press.
  • Darnton, Robert (1982). The Literary Underground of the Old Regime. Harvard University Press.
  • Debidour, Victor-Henry (1956). Rivarol, Écrits Politiques et Littéraires Choisis et Présentés. Paris: Grasset.
  • De Lescure, Mathurin (1882). Rivarol et la Société Française pendant la Révolution et l'Émigration. Paris: E. Plon et Cie.
  • Latzarus, Louis (1926). La Vie Paresseuse de Rivarol. Paris: Plon-Nourrit et Cie.
  • Law, Reed G. (1959). "Rivarol's 'Morale Indépendante' and Pascal," Criticism 1 (3), pp. 249-257.
  • Le Breton, André (1895). Rivarol, sa Vie, ses Idées. Paris: Librairie Hachette et Cie.
  • Lessay, Jean (1989). Rivarol, le Français par Excellence. Paris: Perrin.
  • Matyaszewski, Paweł (1990). "Le Conservatisme Éclairé de Rivarol," Revue d'Histoire littéraire de la France, 90e Année, No. 4/5, pp. 622-630.
  • McMahon, Darrin M. (2001). Enemies of the Enlightenment: The French Counter-Enlightenment and the Making of Modernity. Oxford University Press.
  • Jünger, Ernest (1974). Rivarol et Autres Essais. Paris: Grasset.
  • Roche, Alphonse Victor (1937). Les Idées Traditionalistes en France de Rivarol À Charles Maurras. The University of Illinois.
  • Saintsbury, George (1892). "Chamfort and Rivarol." In: Miscellaneous Essays. London: Percival & Co., pp. 43–80.
  • Treich, Léon (1926). L’Esprit de Rivarol. Paris: Gallimard.

External links[edit]