Been reading a lot about the Marquis de Lafayette lately. I choose strange forms of escapism.
Overall, in all the biographies, articles, and treatises on the man, one fact stands clear: historians can. not. stand. him. He’s a problematic character in any story, and people just don’t know where to put him. Lately, they either dismiss him as unimportant or leave him out altogether.
This is a shame because he really was such a catalyst. From age 19 until he died at age 76, he started a lot of trouble and inspired others to cause exponentially more than he himself managed to do. He was right in the thick of the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and most of the successive changes of French government from Napoleon on. Whether or not people think he was important, it cannot be argued that he was at least supremely interesting.
If there ever was such a thing, he would definitely be in the running for Patron Saint of Broken-Hearted Idealists everywhere. That I can definitely identify with right now, which is probably why I’m reading so much about him.
There’ll be more here. It’s hard to know what to say. He’s not an easy character to pin down.