Francois de La Rochefoucauld


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François de La Rochefoucauld, 2nd Duke of La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac (French: [fʁɑ̃swa d(ə) la ʁɔʃfuko]; 15 September 1613 – 17 March 1680) was an accomplished French moralist of the era of French Classical literature and author of Maximes and Memoirs, the only two works of his dense literary œuvre published. His Maximes portrays the callous nature of human conduct, with a cynical attitude towards putative virtue and avowals of affection, friendship, love, and loyalty. Leonard Tancock regards Maximes as "one of the most deeply felt, most intensely lived texts in French literature", with his "experience, his likes and dislikes, sufferings and petty spites ... crystallized into absolute truths."Born in Paris in 1613, at a time when the royal court was vacillating between aiding the nobility and threatening it, he was considered an exemplar of the accomplished seventeenth-century nobleman. Until 1650, he bore the title of Prince de Marcillac. His great-grandfather François III, count de La Rochefoucauld, was killed in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, being a Huguenot.

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