The agricultural experiments of the Duke of La Rochefoucauld (1743-1792)

Crogiez, Michèle (16 July 2019). The agricultural experiments of the Duke of La Rochefoucauld (1743-1792) (Unpublished). In: ISECS 15th International Congress on the Enlightenment. Edinburgh. 14. – 19.07.2019.

Only son to a plurisecular aristocratic family, the Duke of La Rochefoucauld doesn’t lazily enjoy his social and financial supremacy. Still very young, he travels to Geneva, to the Alps, to Italy, to Sweden, to the south-west of France, as well as to the various garrisons of the regiment of which he is a colonel. In the Parisian salon of his mother, the Duchess of Enville, a woman who is as rich as she is passionate about science, he encounters, his whole life long, all kinds of scientists, many of them being involved in sciences which are experimental, though not yet so called : Quesnay, Mirabeau, Turgot, Malesherbes, Jefferson, Mazzei, Young – whom he met thanks to his cousin, the Duke of Liancourt (1747-1827), who invited Young to France – Dolomieu, Poivre, Dupont de Nemours. His agronomic practice is rooted in theoretical thought and is implemented on his estate, i. e. the Dukedom of La Rocheguyon, and goes along with many other actions to support the local population : primary and professional education, medicine, philanthropy. His immense fortune allows him to try all kinds of experiments : turnips, fruit trees, vines, silk worms and even the breeding of merino sheep, relying obviously more on theoretical and bookish principles than on agricultural expertise, in accordance with a mind endeavouring to science and reason, typical of the physiocratic school. This turn of mind is all the easier to grasp since the Duke has also implemented it in his political action. So doing, he embodies very well the reformist and progressive aristocracy of the Enlightenment, capable of enthusiasm and experimentation, at the risk of a deep idealism leading to more or less predictable disagreements. A benevolent and reformist aristocracy, confident in its authority, taking for granted its own right to impose reforms in peasant practices in the name of science.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of French Language and Literature > Literary Studies
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of French Language and Literature

UniBE Contributor:

Crogiez, Michèle

Subjects:

800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 840 French & related literatures
400 Language > 440 French & related languages

Language:

English

Submitter:

Michèle Crogiez Labarthe

Date Deposited:

21 Apr 2020 13:58

Last Modified:

21 Apr 2020 13:58

Additional Information:

Panel : SCIENCE & ENLIGHTENMENT MOVEMENT IN THE COUNTRYSIDE Organiser : Gilles DENIS (University of Lille, Unité mixte de recherches Savoirs Textes Langage)

Uncontrolled Keywords:

expérimentations agriculture, Angleterre, cultures physiocratie

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/141846

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