Pierre Lanfrey

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Pierre Lanfrey (October 26, 1828 – 1877) was a French historian and politician.

Life[edit]

He was born at Chambéry (Savoie). His father had been one of Napoleon's officers. The son studied philosophy and history in Paris and wrote historical works of an anti-clerical and rationalizing tendency. These included:

  • L'Église et les philosophes au dix-huitième siècle (1855; new edition, with a notice of the author by E. de Pressensé, 1879)
  • Essai sur la révolution française (1858)
  • Histoire politique des papes (1860)
  • Lettres d'Evérard (1860), a novel in the form of letters
  • Le Rétablissement de la Pologne (1863)

His magnum opus was his Histoire de Napoleon I (5 vols., 1867–1875 and 1886; Eng. trans., 4 vols, 1871–1879), which ceased at the end of 1811 with the preparations for the Russian campaign of 1812. This book, based on the emperor's correspondence published in 1858-1870, attempted the destruction of the legends which had grown up around his subject, and sought by a critical examination of the documents to explain the motives of his policy.[1]

In his desire to refute current misconceptions and exaggerations of Napoleon's abilities, Lanfrey unduly minimized his military and administrative genius. A staunch republican, he was elected to the National Assembly in 1871, became ambassador at Bern (1871-1813), and life senator in 1875. He died at Pau on the 15 November 1877.[1]

References[edit]

Attribution

 Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Lanfrey, Pierre". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. ; Endnotes:

  • Œuvres complètes were published in 12 vols. (1879 seq.)
  • Correspondance in 2 vols. (1885).