Beaumarchais, Pierre Augustin Caron de

PLAYWRIGHT (FRANCE)
BORN 24 Jan 1732, Paris - DIED 19 May 1799, Paris
REAL NAME Caron, Pierre Augustin
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Père Lachaise, Rue du Repos 16 (division 28, 1ere ligne, Q, 33)

Pierre Beaumarchais was the son of a watchmaker. In 1755 he married the widow Madeleine-Catherine Aubertin. She helped him secure a royal office but died soon afterwards.

As an inventor and as a music teacher he was able to obtain a position at the French court. He taught the princesses the harp and his influence increased. He also conducted several profitable businesses and acted as a diplomated and a spy. Furthermore, he was succesful as a playwright and in 1767 his play "Eugénie" premiered at the Comédie Française.

A series of costly court cases around 1770 cost him his fortune and damaged his reputation. In his memoirs he describes himselfs as a poor citizen who was the victim of corrupted judges. His play "Le Barbier de Séville" was first performed in 1775. He supported American Independence and lobbied for the Americans during the War of Independence in 1778.

Another play, "Le Mariage de Figaro" was approved by the censor in 1781 but banned by king Louis XVI himself who considered it too satirical, allthough queen Marie Antoinette liked it. In 1784 the ban was lifted and it was finally performed. In 1786 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart based his opera on this play. Baumarchais' last play "La Mère" was first performed in 1792.

By that time his finances had improved but in 1792 he was imprisoned for a week and when he was abroad he was suspected to loyal to the old regime. He had to stay abroad for over two years before he could return to Paris in 1796. There he died three years later.

Events
1784/4/27: Premiere of Beaumarchais' "Le Mariage de Figaro"
It has been banned by Louis XVI but queen Marie-Antoinette liked it and in 1784 Louis XVI lifted the ban.

Sources
https://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Pierre_Beaumarchais
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909

Images

The grave of Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais at Père Lachaise, Paris.
Picture by Androom (24 Oct 2014)

 


Beaussoleil, Jean

Published: 21 Jun 2015
Last update: 21 Jun 2015