François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, 1613 - 1680

portrait of Francois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Oil portrait at Musée national du Château de Varsailles

Born: 15 September 1613, Paris, France
Died: 17 March 1680, Paris, France

From a noble family, François had little or no formal schooling but was trained in Latin, mathematics, fencing, dancing, heraldry, and etiquette. He took arms early, possibly in his tenth year, and was in command of a regiment at age fifteen. Noted for bravery in battle but ill-advised politics, he took issue with various powerful persons, notably Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin, which meant he was banished on several occasions and made his home in the Bastille briefly. Later in life he joined a salon in which the goal was to carefully hone observations on human character in one sentence. He turned out to be both prolific and skilled in this, and in his retirement collected several hundred Maximes which were published and sold well in his life.

As he wrote in French, all of the quotes here are translations, and as there have been many editions of his work there are almost as many English versions of some of them. I've tried to eliminate the duplicates, but feel free to send mail if you spot some I've missed.

Biography from Wikipedia and Authors' Calendar

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Francois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld quotes:

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