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Extra resources for Charles Gravier, Comte de Vergennes - French Diplomacy in the Age of Revolution, 1719-1787

Sample text

With an additional 4,000 livres borrowed by his father to "furnish the need of my younger son for his voyage to Paris and Portugal," 1 the twenty-year-old left his native Dijon to begin his diplomatic career. At Lisbon, his professional education began in relative quiet. From a remote corner of Europe, he watched the War of Austrian Succession break over the Continent. The primary responsibility of the French minister at Lisbon was to keep Portugal neutral2 and, since she was already inclined to remain so, the task did not overtax the French Minister or his nephew.

Wolf's friendship, intelligence and advice I am eternally grateful. To John J. Meng I Page xi owe many "thank-yous;" his earlier study of Vergennes opened the way and pointed out the need for a study of Vergennes' entire career. The scholarship, conversations, critiques and enthusiasm of young scholars Robert Crout, Marie Donaghay, Jonathan R. " My thanks also to Marcella Brannigan and Dorothy Ward who patiently and competently typed through so many revisions of the manuscript. Page 1 PART I THE INITIATION Page 3 Chapter 1 War of the Austrian Succession Charles Gravier de Vergennes' initiation into the diplomatic service of France was an experience of sharp contrasts: tranquillity and chaos, respect and humiliation, triumph and failure.

He never really knew his mother. 22 As a boy, he no doubt watched the traditional festival, the feu de Saint-Jean held once a year on the feast of Saint-Jean. 23 Only one of the old houses, the seventeenth century "La Tourelle" at the "Coin du Miroir," stands today. And, except for the Cordeliers Square, little remains of the neighborhood where Vergennes' grandfather lived and where he himself lived between 1728 and 1734. The school where he received his education from the Jesuits is today the Municipal Library of Dijon.

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