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Improbable Patriot

The Secret History of Monsieur de Beaumarchais, the French Playwright Who Saved the American Revolution
Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais was an 18th-century French inventor, famed playwright, and upstart near-aristocrat in the court of King Louis XVI. In 1776, he conceived an audacious plan to send aid to the American rebels. What's more, he convinced the king to bankroll the project, and singlehandedly carried it out. By war's end, he had supplied Washington's army with most of its weapons and powder, though he was never paid or acknowledged by the United States.

To some, he was a dashing hero - a towering intellect who saved the American Revolution. To others, he was pure rogue - a double-dealing adventurer who stopped at nothing to advance his fame and fortune. In fact, he was both, and more: an advisor to kings, an arms dealer, and author of some of the most enduring works of the stage, including The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville.

©2011 Harlow Giles Unger (P)2018 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"This delightful rogue of many talents set up a company to front for the French and Spanish regimes secretly supplying weapons, munitions, clothing and food to the struggling rebels." (American History)

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  • Sharon
  • Seattle, WA USA
  • 07-27-19

It's not Unger's fault

It's all so improbable. Eighteenth century upper class madness. Kind of: Who cares? If you like gossip, this book is probably OK for you. Unger, though, is a fine researcher and writer. Just an icky choice of subject. And the narrator was certainly tolerable when played at 1.25x speed.