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Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais

Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais

 Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais

Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732 - 1799) was a French playwright, watchmaker, inventor, musician, diplomat, fugitive, spy, publisher, horticulturalist, arms dealer, satirist, financier, and revolutionary (both French and American). Born a provincial watchmaker's son, Beaumarchais rose in French society and became influential in the court of Louis XV as an inventor and music teacher. He made a number of important business and social contacts, played various roles as a diplomat and spy, and had earned a considerable fortune before a series of costly court battles jeopardized his reputation. Beaumarchais was also a participant in the early stages of the French Revolution. He is probably best known, however, for his theatrical works, especially the three Figaro plays. Beaumarchais's Figaro plays are Le Barbier de Seville, Le Mariage de Figaro, and La Mère coupable. Figaro and Count Almaviva, the two characters Beaumarchais most likely conceived in his travels in Spain, were (with Rosine, later the Countess Almaviva) the only ones present in all three plays. They are indicative of the change in social attitudes before, during, and after the French Revolution. Upon first reading a manuscript of Beaumarchais's play, King Louis XVI stated that "this man mocks everything that must be respected in a government" and refused to let it be performed. Le Barbier premiered in 1775. Its sequel, Le Mariage, was initially passed by the censor in 1781, but was soon banned from being performed by Louis XVI after a private reading. Queen Marie-Antoinette lamented the ban, as did various influential members of her entourage. The King finally relented and lifted the ban in 1784. The play premiered that year and was enormously popular even with aristocratic audiences. Mozart's opera premiered just two years later. Beaumarchais's final play, La Mère, premiered in 1792 in Paris.

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French : Graded Readers


Lire en Français facile

A series of graded readers encompassing 5 different themes: Real-life; Science fiction; Fantasy; Detective and Adventure. The story is followed by an explanation of difficult words and phrases, broken...


002702 Le Barbier de Séville + CD audio MP3 £7.85  

French : Annotated Texts

148983 Mariage de Figaro £15.99  

French : Classics/Modern Classics

Ages 15-16

109640 Le barbier de Séville £4.55  


004420 Beaumarchais : Figaro £3.00  
007514 Le barbier de Séville £4.35  
109637 Le barbier de Séville £2.55  
007518 Le mariage de Figaro £5.35  

French : Drama

109638 Le barbier de Séville £6.35  
103327 Le barbier de Séville £2.85  
108033 Le barbier de Séville £4.15  
123348 Le barbier de Séville £3.75  
006448 Le barbier de Séville/Jean Bête à la foire £6.35  
005264 Le barbier de Séville/Le mariage de Figaro/La mère coupable £7.35  
153269 Le mariage de Figaro £3.25  
116864 Le mariage de Figaro £6.40  
075317 Le mariage de Figaro/La mère coupable £13.50  

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