François-René, viscount de Chateaubriand, born on September 4, 1768 in Saint-Malo and died on July 4, 1848 in Paris, is a French writer, memoirist and politician. He is considered one of the precursors and pioneers of French romanticism and one of the great names of French literature.
Coming from the Breton nobility, the most famous member of his family from Saint-Malo, Chateaubriand was politically part of the royalist movement. Several times ambassador to various sovereigns, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1822 to 1824 under the Restoration and was, under the reign of Charles X, among the ultraroyalists. The numerous political and diplomatic responsibilities that marked his career as well as his taste for travel, in America and then in the Mediterranean basin, structured a life marked by exile and nostalgia for stability.
His first major publications, the Essai sur les révolutions (1796) and the Génie du christianisme (1802), show his political commitment then in favor of the counter-revolution and in defense of the Ancien Régime society. But the ideological question is very quickly intertwined with the promotion of an original aesthetic which is very popular and literary success: the description of nature and the analysis of the feelings of the “I”, which he implements in the fictions Atala (1801) and René (1802), first published as illustrations of the theses of the Genius and then attached to the vast novelistic cycle of Natchez (published in full in 1826), make him a model for the next generation of French writers. His propensity for mystery, amplitude, emphasis, melancholic grandeur, his attempt to express unspeakable suffering and his thirst for exoticism, which he reaffirms in the account of his trip to the Mediterranean, Itinéraire de Paris à Jérusalem (1811), earned him the reputation of being one of the most influential “pre-romantics” of his generation. The painful sensibility of this “wave of passions”, illustrated through the character of René, had an important posterity in French Romanticism: the “mal du siècle” of Musset or the “spleen” of Baudelaire can be considered, among others, as distant avatars.
Nevertheless, Chateaubriand”s monumental work lies in the Mémoires d”outre-tombe, published posthumously in 1849, the first books of which recreate his childhood and his formation in his social environment of small nobility in Saint-Malo and Combourg, while the following books are more of a historical picture of the periods he witnessed from 1789 to 1841. This text, both an autobiographical masterpiece and an important historical testimony, shows an evolution of his prose that remains no less influential on French literature.
Viscount François-René de Chateaubriand came from a ruined noble family from Guérande to Hénanbihen and from Saint-Malo where the family du Rocher du Quengo settled at the beginning of the XVIIth century, a family which recovered its former dignity thanks to the commercial success of Chateaubriand”s father, Count René-Auguste de Chateaubriand (knight, count of Combourg, lord of Gaugres, Plessis l”Épine, Boulet, Malestroit en Dol and other places) born on September 23, 1718 at the manor of Touches in Guitté (Côtes d”Armor). René Auguste de Chateaubriand and Apolline Jeanne Suzanne de Bédée, daughter of the lord of La Bouëtardaye and count of Bédée, married in 1753 in Bourseul, had six children among whom François-René. This financial success was based on trade with the colonies where he was a privateer in wartime, a cod fisherman and a slave trader in peacetime. The young François-René had to live away from his parents at first, with his maternal grandmother Madame de Bédée, in Plancoët, where he was placed in foster care. Madame de Bédée often brought him to his uncle”s house in the manor of Monchoix. He was three years old when his father, successful in business, was able to buy in 1761 the castle of Combourg in Brittany, where the Chateaubriand family settled in 1777. François-René spent there a childhood that he will describe as often morose with a taciturn father and a superstitious and sickly, but cheerful and cultivated mother.
He studied successively at the colleges of Dol-de-Bretagne (1777 to 1781), Rennes (1782) and Dinan (1783).
After a long hesitation about his career, he obtained in 1786 a brevet of second lieutenant in the regiment of Navarre at the age of 17, under the orders of his brother Jean-Baptiste (who will introduce him to the Court for which he feels “an invincible disgust”), then is made captain at the age of nineteen. He came to Paris in 1788, where he met Jean-François de La Harpe, Louis de Fontanes who was to become his dearest friend and other writers of the time. Nourished by Corneille and marked by Rousseau, Chateaubriand made his literary debut by writing verses for the Almanach des Muses.
In January 1789, he participated in the States of Brittany and, in July of the same year, he attended the storming of the Bastille with his sisters Julie and Lucile.
Knight of Malta of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem
It is Chateaubriand himself who evokes in Les Mémoires d”outre-tombe on several occasions his admission in the order of Saint John of Jerusalem. In order to become a knight of Malta, he even had himself tonsured. He explains how his brother would have presented an application for admission to the Order to the prior of Aquitaine, Louis-Joseph des Escotais, and how he would have proven his nobility. The request was accepted during the prieural chapter of September 9, 10 and 11, 1789. Chateaubriand notes in his Mémoires d”outre-tombe that, on August 7, the National Assembly had abolished the titles of nobility: “How did the knights and the examiners of my proofs also find that I deserved in more than one way the grace I was asking for.
It should be noted that the main genealogical or nobility specialists of the 19th century give Chateaubriand as a knight of Malta: Courcelles (1824), Potier de Courcy (1890), Kerviler (1895) or La Roque (1891) complacently and integrally give in the Supplement to the Mémoires d”outre-tombe the “Mémorial”. This Memorial of authentic acts is the file on which the Order bases itself to admit or refuse a pretender. Chateaubriand is from Brittany which depends on the Grand Priory of Aquitaine which comes under the language of France. In this language, one had to be able to justify eight quarters (four on the paternal side and four on the maternal side) as well as a minimum of 100 years of proof of nobility. Chateaubriand goes back to the 23rd grandfather who would have participated in 1066 in the battle of Hastings. It is this Memorial that his brother would have sent to the prior of Escotais, and this document would have been accepted as “good and valid”.
But this is only the beginning of the process, not the end. This is the same document that was presented by the parents of a newborn child who wanted to have their youngest child admitted to the Order by minority, since seniority began with the acceptance of this memorial. Admitted in the Order but not knight. For this purpose, the Grand Priory appointed investigating commissioners who conducted local, literal (on documents), testimonial, public (good morals) and secret investigations. These eight commissioners (four public, four secret) drew up a Procès-Verbal of Evidence which had to be positive. The postulant or his family then had to pay the reception fee for the Order and the expenses of the commissioners. Then, the future knight had to complete a year of novitiate in Malta with service at the Sacra Infermeria or with a notable of the Order. In order to attain the dignities and become a knight of Malta, the novice also had to do four years of caravans, six months of service at sea during the summer sailing season. This made five years in residence in Malta (consecutive or not), at the end of which the novice could pronounce his vows to enter religion. Often after this training at sea, many young novices renounced a monastic life in order to pursue a career in the navy of their kingdom or more simply to make a good marriage. For those who took the vows, who “took the habit”, they became brothers in religion and knights in the Order. With seniority, the knights could hope to obtain the charge of a commandery, thus becoming commander, the first step in the life of a local lord with the benefits of the commandery, once the responsibilities were paid back to the Order and the improvement of the commandery and its houses was assured.
Chateaubriand will never make profession, will never stay in Malta and will therefore never be able to pronounce his vows. He will never be a knight of Malta of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, so he will never have the “hope of benefits” expected in his Mémoires d”outre-tombe.
The trip to North America
At the time of the French Revolution, in 1791, François-René left France and embarked for the New World (Baltimore), with the “pretext of searching for the North-West passage”. It was Chrétien Guillaume de Lamoignon de Malesherbes who encouraged him to leave.
In Voyage en Amérique, published in 1826, Chateaubriand tells of having arrived in Philadelphia on July 10, 1791, having passed through New York, Boston and Lexington. He relates a meeting with George Washington in Philadelphia, who said to him “Well well, young man”. He sailed up the Hudson River to Albany, where he hired a guide and continued on to Niagara Falls, encountering the good wilderness and solitude of the North American forests. At Niagara, he tells of breaking his arm because of a sudden attack by his horse, and spending a month with an Indian tribe. The travelogue itself is interrupted, Chateaubriand devotes several dozen pages to zoological, political and economic considerations of the Indians and America in general.
Then he mentions in a few pages his return to Philadelphia via the Ohio River, the Mississippi and Louisiana, but the veracity of this journey is questioned.
The news of the king”s flight to Varennes decided him to leave America. From Philadelphia, he embarked on the Molly for La Rochelle.
Many critics question the fact that Chateaubriand lived several weeks among Indian tribes similar to the one he describes in Les Natchez. The itinerary that Chateaubriand describes in Voyage en Amérique is said to contain many exaggerations and distortions of reality, especially concerning his passage in Louisiana. The veracity of his meeting with George Washington is also questioned.
Some experts speculate that Chateaubriand brought back bundles of handwritten documents containing the ideas that formed Les Natchez. Chateaubriand claimed that the American experience provided him with the inspiration for Les Natchez. His vivid descriptions were written in an innovative style for the time, which would become the French Romantic style.
At the end of March 1792, he married Céleste Buisson de la Vigne, a 17-year-old descendant of a family of shipowners from Saint-Malo. They will have no posterity. On July 15, 1792, accompanied by his brother, but without his wife, he left France for Coblence. His young wife Céleste, who lived in Brittany, abandoned by her husband who did not give her any news, was arrested as an “emigrant”s wife” and imprisoned in Rennes, where she remained until the 9th of Thermidor. François-René, wounded at the siege of Thionville, dragged himself to Brussels, from where he was transported convalescent to Jersey. This was the end of his military career.
He then went to live in London, in 1793, in a momentary but real destitution (he lived in an attic in Holborn) where he was reduced to giving French lessons and making translations for booksellers. In 1797, he published his first work, the Essai historique, politique et moral sur les révolutions anciennes et modernes, considérées dans leurs rapports avec la Révolution française, in which he expressed political and religious ideas that were not very much in harmony with those he would later profess, but in which his talent as a writer was already revealed. “For this work he feeds on Rousseau, Montesquieu, Voltaire. This work goes unnoticed by the critics. Only Amable de Baudus wrote about it in his newspaper, the Spectateur du Nord of May 1797.
In 1794, his brother, his sister-in-law (a granddaughter of Malesherbes, the lawyer of Louis XVI) and part of their family were guillotined in Paris.
In 1798, his mother and his sister Julie die. Stricken by these ordeals, François-René turns again to religion, and begins to write the Genius of Christianity. It is, according to him, a letter from his dying mother that brings him back to religion. The work was about to be published in London when he decided to return to France in 1800.
Return to France and first literary success
Back in France in 1800, he actively participated in the Mercure de France with Louis de Fontanes, then directed it for a few years. It is in this logic that he publishes, in 1801, Atala, an original creation which arouses a controversial admiration.
Around the same time he composed René, a work full of dreamy melancholy, which became a model for future romantic writers. In this work, he recounts in a barely disguised way the chaste, but violent and passionate love he had for his older sister Lucile, who called him “the Enchanter”. His wife Céleste lives with Lucile in their castle in Brittany, but they have stopped talking about François-René, their great man, whom they both love.
He then published in Paris on April 14, 1802 the Genius of Christianity, partly written in England, and of which Atala and René, at the beginning, are only episodes: he proposed to show that Christianity, far superior to paganism by the purity of its morals, is not less favorable to art and poetry than the “fictions” of Antiquity. He celebrates freedom, according to him daughter of Christianity, and not of the Revolution. This book makes event and gives the signal of a return of the religious after the Revolution.
Still on the list of emigrants from which he wanted to be removed, he pleaded his case to Elisa Bonaparte, sister of the First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte, and whose lover Fontanes was. She intervened several times with her brother to show him the talent of the writer who was struck off the list on July 21, 1801. Bonaparte chose him in 1803 to accompany Cardinal Fesch in Rome as first secretary of embassy. François-René appeared at the castle, just twenty-four hours, to invite his wife Céleste to accompany him to Rome. The latter, learning of his affair with the Countess Pauline de Beaumont, refuses the ménage à trois. This love is however close to its end, since Pauline de Beaumont dies in Rome, where he has a funerary monument erected for her in Saint-Louis des Français.
Multiplying the blunders in Rome (he asked in particular to the pope Pius VII to abolish the organic laws which complete the concordat regime to restore the catholic worship in France), he exasperated the ambassador Fesch who obtained his departure after six months. Bonaparte appointed him on November 29, 1803 as chargé d”affaires in the Republic of Valais. On March 21, 1804, he learned of the execution of the Duke of Enghien. He immediately resigned and joined the opposition to the Empire. At the time of the coronation of the Emperor, he went to his friend Joseph Joubert”s house in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne where he wrote several chapters of the Martyrs and passages of the Mémoires d”outre-tombe.
The journey to the Orient
Back to Letters, Chateaubriand conceived the project of a Christian epic, where expiring paganism and emerging religion would be brought together. Wishing to visit by himself the places where to set the action, he travels through Greece, Asia Minor, Palestine and Egypt during the year 1806.
On his return from the East, exiled by Napoleon three leagues from the capital, he acquired the Vallée-aux-Loups, in the Val d”Aulnay (now in the commune of Châtenay-Malabry), near Sceaux, where he shut himself up in a modest retreat. His wife Céleste joins him there, she tells in her Souvenirs, with humor, the picturesque conditions of the accommodation. Chateaubriand composed Les Martyrs, a kind of epic in prose, published only in 1809.
The notes collected during his trip form the material of L”Itinéraire de Paris à Jérusalem (1811). The same year, Chateaubriand was elected member of the French Academy, in the place of Marie-Joseph Chénier; but as he had, in his draft speech of reception, severely blamed some acts of the Revolution, Napoleon did not consent to let him pronounce it. It is thus not allowed to him to take possession of his seat. He occupied it only after the Restoration.
Favour and disgrace
Chateaubriand welcomed the return of the Bourbons with transport. On March 30, 1814, he published a virulent pamphlet against the deposed emperor, De Buonaparte et des Bourbons, which was distributed in thousands of copies and which, as he liked to believe and made Louis XVIII say in his Memoirs, would have served the king as much “as a hundred thousand men”. His wife found herself engaged at his side in Ghent during the Hundred Days, in Paris during the return of the Bourbons. With an unexpected sense of politics to which she mingled a natural good sense, Céleste became Chateaubriand”s confidante and even his inspiration. Throughout the Restoration, she played the role of an attentive advisor to him. Talleyrand, who had in the past covered and protected him, appointed him ambassador to Sweden. Chateaubriand had not yet left Paris when Napoleon I returned to France in 1815. He accompanied Louis XVIII to Ghent and became a member of his cabinet. He sent him the famous Report on the state of France.
After the defeat of the Emperor, Chateaubriand voted the death of Marshal Ney in December 1815 in the Chamber of Peers. He was appointed Minister of State and Peer of France; but having, in La Monarchie selon la Charte, attacked the ordinance of September 5, 1816 which dissolved the untraceable Chamber, he was disgraced and lost his position of Minister of State. He threw himself into the ultraroyalist opposition, and became one of the main editors of the Conservateur, the most powerful organ of this party. According to Pascal Melka, author of Victor Hugo, un combat pour les opprimés. Study of its political evolution, the Conservateur will be at the origin of the newspaper Le Conservateur Littéraire which will employ Victor Hugo.
The murder of the Duke of Berry, in 1820, brings him closer to the Court: he writes on this occasion Memoirs on the life and death of the Duke.
In 1821, he was appointed minister of France in Berlin, then ambassador in London (where his cook, Montmireil, invented the cooking of the piece of beef that bears his name).
In 1822, he represented France at the Congress of Verona. On December 28 of the same year, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs by Louis XVIII and remained in this position until August 4, 1824.
In 1823, he received the Order of St. Andrew from Emperor Alexander I of Russia, and the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece from Ferdinand VII (patent no. 919).
That same year, at the age of 55, he became the lover of Cordelia de Castellane, daughter of the banker Louis Greffulhe, wife of Count Boniface de Castellane, future Marshal of France, known for her beauty and wit. He met her at the home of his former friend and political opponent Count Molé, who was his lover at the time, in his estate of Champlâtreux. This affair will end the following year. The letters to Mme de Castellane are the only passionate letters that have come down to us from Chateaubriand: “I have finally grasped this dream of happiness that I have pursued so long. It is you that I adored for so long without knowing you…”.
He was one of the plenipotentiaries at the Congress of Verona and had the Spanish expedition decided, in spite of the apparent opposition of the United Kingdom (in reality, the latter wanted an intervention). On his return, he received the portfolio of Minister of Foreign Affairs; he succeeded in the Spanish adventure with the capture of Cadiz at the battle of Trocadero in 1823; but, not having been able to agree with Villèle, head of the government, he was brutally dismissed on June 6, 1824. He declares on this subject:
“And yet what had I done? Where were my intrigues and my ambition? Had I desired the place of Monsieur de Villèle by going alone and hidden to walk in the Bois de Boulogne? I had the simplicity to remain as the sky had made me, and, because I wanted nothing, one believed that I wanted everything. Today, I understand very well that my life apart was a great mistake. How! You don”t want to be anything! Go away! We don”t want a man to despise what we adore, and to believe himself entitled to insult the mediocrity of our life.”
– Chateaubriand, Mémoires d”outre-tombe
He lived in Paris from 1826 to 1828.
He immediately returned to the opposition, but this time to unite with the liberal party, and fought the Villèle ministry to the death, either in the Chamber of Peers, or in the Journal des Débats, where he gave the signal for defection: he showed himself to be the knight defender of the freedom of the press and of the independence of Greece, which earned him great popularity.
At the fall of Villèle, he was appointed ambassador to Rome (1828), where Céleste accompanied him this time and where she held her ambassadorial rank with brio, but he resigned at the advent of the Polignac ministry, which was his political decline.
A series of Sèvres porcelain plates with floral decoration painted by Jacob-Ber (or Sisson) which he had at his disposal in this function is preserved at the Banque de France (color reproduction in Trésors de la Banque de France – Histoire et richesses de l”hôtel de Toulouse, 1993, pp 102 and 103)
Chateaubriand lived a last love in 1828-1829 with Léontine de Villeneuve, countess of Castelbajac: the 26 years old young woman wrote him first fiery letters, and they met only in August 1829 in the thermal resort of Cauterets in the Hautes-Pyrénées. This meeting, platonic or not, Chateaubriand evokes it in a chapter of Mémoires d”outre-tombe with the expression “the young friend of my old years”. This romantic love inspired Jean Périssé”s 2008 film L”Occitanienne ou le Dernier Amour de Chateaubriand.
The abandonment of the political career and the last years
“Chateaubriand could have been a great minister. I explain it not only by his sharp intelligence, but by his sense and knowledge of history, and by his concern for national greatness. I also observe how rare it is that a great artist possesses political gifts to this degree.
Charles de Gaulle quoted by Philippe de Saint Robert (op. cit., p. 28 and 29).
More and more opposed to the conservative parties, disillusioned about the future of the monarchy, he withdrew from business after the Revolution of 1830, even leaving the Chamber of Peers. His political life was marked only by sharp criticism of the new government (De la Restauration et de la Monarchie élective, 1831), by trips to the fallen family, and by the publication of a Mémoire sur la captivité de la duchesse de Berry (1833), a memoir for which he was prosecuted but acquitted. He also published in 1831 Historical Studies (4 vol. in-8º), a summary of universal history where he wanted to show Christianity reforming society. This work should have been the frontispiece of a History of France, meditated for a long time but abandoned. At the end of 1831 he takes the time to honor the recent Revolt of the Canuts, saying that this workers” revolt announced a new time.
His last years were spent in deep retirement, in the company of his wife. He hardly left his home, an apartment on the first floor of the Hotel des Missions-Étrangères, at 120 rue du Bac in Paris, except to go to the nearby Abbey-aux-Bois, to Juliette Récamier”s house, of which he was a constant friend and whose salon gathered the elite of the literary world.
He received many visits from both romantic and liberal youth, and devoted himself to the completion of his memoirs begun in 1811.
This vast autobiographical project, these Memoirs from Beyond the Grave, will have to appear, according to the author”s wish, only fifty years after his death.
It will finally be different since, pressed by his financial problems, Chateaubriand gives the rights of exploitation of the work to a “Société propriétaire des Mémoires d”outre-tombe”, constituted on August 21, 1836, which will require that the work be published as soon as the death of its author, and will practise frank cuts, in order not to offend the public, which will inspire bitter comments to Chateaubriand:
“The sad necessity which has always held my foot on my throat, has forced me to sell my Memoirs. Nobody can know what I suffered to have been obliged to mortgage my tomb : my intention was to leave them to Madame de Chateaubriand : she would have made them known at her will, or would have suppressed them, which I would desire more than ever today. Ah! if, before leaving the earth, I could have found someone rich enough, confident enough to buy the shares of the Society, and not being, like this Society, in the necessity to put the work under press as soon as my bell tolls!
– Chateaubriand, Foreword to the Mémoires d”outre-tombe, 1846
His last work, a “commission” from his confessor, was the Vie de Rancé, a biography of Armand Jean Le Bouthillier de Rancé (1626-1700), a worldly abbot, owner of the castle of Véretz in Touraine, and a rigorous reformer of the Trappist monastery, which he published in 1844. In this biography, Chateaubriand scratches another personality of Véretz, his contemporary Paul-Louis Courier, the redoubtable pamphleteer who had criticized mortally the regime of the Restoration supported by the viscount, and brocaded this one in several of his writings.
On February 11, 1847, Céleste died: “I owe a tender and eternal gratitude to my wife whose attachment was as touching as it was deep and sincere. She has made my life more serious, more noble, more honorable, always inspiring me with respect, if not always with the strength of duty.”
Victor Hugo reports that “M. de Chateaubriand, at the beginning of 1847, was paralytic; Mme Récamier was blind. Every day, at three o”clock, M. de Chateaubriand was carried close to the bed of Mrs. Récamier. The woman who could no longer see looked for the man who could no longer feel.
Chateaubriand”s former secretary, a certain Pilorge, confided to Victor Hugo that in the last years of his life Chateaubriand had almost fallen into childhood and had only two to three hours of lucidity per day.
Chateaubriand died in Paris on July 4, 1848 at 120 rue du Bac.
His remains were transported to Saint-Malo and deposited facing the sea, according to his wishes, on the Grand Bé rock, an islet in the harbor of his native town, which can be reached on foot from Saint-Malo when the sea has receded.
“Chateaubriand carried to the top the moving glory of our letters”. Charles de Gaulle, speech of February 2, 1969 in Quimper (Discours et Messages, t. V, Plon, p. 376).
By his talent as by his excesses, Chateaubriand can be considered as the father of romanticism in France. His descriptions of nature and his analysis of the feelings of the self made him a model for the generation of romantic writers. He was the first to formulate the “wave of passions” which will become a commonplace of romanticism:
“It remains to speak about a state of the soul, which, it seems to us, has not yet been well observed; it is that which precedes the development of the great passions. The more the people advance in civilization, the more this state of the vague passions increases “.
– Chateaubriand, Génie du Christianisme, vol. 3, 1802, II, chap. IX
His political thought and actions seem to offer many contradictions; he wanted to be at the same time the friend of the legitimate royalty and of the freedom, defending alternatively the one of the two which seemed to him to be in danger:
“As for me, who is a republican by nature, a monarchist by reason, and a bourbonist by honor, I would have been much better off with a democracy, if I had been able to preserve the legitimate monarchy, than with the bastard monarchy granted by I don”t know who.”
– Chateaubriand, On the new proposal for the banishment of Charles X and his family, 1831
We can observe in his Memoirs from beyond the Grave a duality between the personal Chateaubriand who exalts his feelings with a romantic lyricism and the public Chateaubriand, the memorialist who chronicles his time, which saw the advent of democracy to which he was opposed, believing that France was not yet mature (Memoirs from beyond the Grave, June 6th 1833). Throughout his work, the two characters come together as one, they associate themselves; thus, the whole political life of Chateaubriand was influenced by his personal feelings and his solitude.
In 1898, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Chateaubriand”s death, Charles Maurras made a severe judgment on his political commitment, in which he believed to read the harmful influence of his romantic soul. In his pamphlet Trois idées politiques : Chateaubriand, Michelet, Sainte-Beuve, he deplores the fact that some people place Chateaubriand in the pantheon of legitimist and traditionalist authors: “Louis XVIII did not have a more inconvenient subject, nor his best ministers a more dangerous colleague”; “A race of shipwreckers and wreck-makers, a rapacious and solitary bird, a lover of mass graves, Chateaubriand never sought, in death and in the past, the transmissible, the fertile, the traditional, the eternal: but the past for the sake of the past, and death as death, were his only pleasures.” Jacques Bainville joins Maurras in the condemnation of the political action of the writer, contrary to Emmanuel Beau de Loménie – dissident of the Action française – who maintains in 1929 in his history thesis La carrière politique de Chateaubriand de 1814 à 1830, that “Chateaubriand, legitimist and catholic, denounced the fault that, according to him, the Bourbons re-established the French Republic, according to him, the Bourbons re-established on the throne, by entrusting themselves, in a spirit of generous but imprudent conciliation, to the team of men that their origin and their formation intended to provide the frameworks of the doctrinaires of liberalism”, which triggers a controversy with Maurras.
The works of Chateaubriand and the author himself have been the subject of various artistic representations. We can quote in particular :
There is also a literary prize, the Combourg prize, which rewards each year a writer whose style honors the memory and the work of Chateaubriand, as well as the Chateaubriand Prize which rewards each year since 1975 a literary work dealing with history.