Adolphe THIERS

Family tree of Adolphe THIERS

Head of state

FrenchBorn Marie Joseph Louis Adolphe THIERS

French politician and historian

Born on April 15, 1797 in Marseille, France , France

Died on September 03, 1877 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France

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Thiers's maternal grandmother was the sister of Élisabeth Santi-Lomaca, mother of André Chénier, of Greek origins. His family was somewhat grandiloquently spoken of as "cloth merchants ruined by the Revolution", but it seems that at the actual time of his birth his father was a locksmith. His mother belonged to the family of the Chéniers, and he was well educated, first at the lycée of Marseille, and then in the faculty of law at Aix-en-Provence. Here he began his lifelong friendship with Mignet, and was called to the bar at the age of twenty-three. He had, however, little taste for law and much for literature; and he obtained an academic prize at Aix for a discourse on the marquis de Vauvenargues. In the early autumn of 1821 Thiers went to Paris, and was quickly introduced as a contributor to the Le Constitutionnel. In each of the years immediately following his arrival in Paris he collected and published a volume of his articles, the first on the salon of 1822, the second on a tour in the Pyrenees. He was put out of all need of money by the singular benefaction of Cotta, the well-known Stuttgart publisher, who was part-proprietor of the Constitutionnel, and made over to Thiers his dividends, or part of them.



Meanwhile, he became very well known in Liberal society, and he had begun the celebrated Histoire de la revolution française, which founded his literary and helped his political fame. The first two volumes appeared in 1823, the last two (of ten) in 1827. The book brought him little profit at first, but became immensely popular. The well-known sentence of Carlyle, that it is "as far as possible from meriting its high reputation", is in strictness justified, for all Thiers' historical work is marked by extreme inaccuracy, by prejudice which passes the limits of accidental unfairness, and by an almost complete indifference to the merits as compared with the successes of his heroes. But Carlyle himself admits that Thiers is "a brisk man in his way, and will tell you much if you know nothing." Coming as the book did just when the reaction against the Revolution was about to turn into another reaction in its favour, it was assured of success.

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Geographical origins

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