Brosses, Charles de

(1709-1777)
   magistrate, writer
   Born in Dijon, where he served as first president of the parlement, Charles de Brosse was, because of his independent and irreverent nature, twice exiled to his estates. A bon vivant, spirited, and learned, de Brosses was interested in Roman history, art, and archaeology (Lettres sur Herculanum, 1750), geography (Histoire des navigations aux terres australes, 1756), and the origin of languages. A passionate reader of the works of salluste, of which he attempted to write a critical edition, he was led by his research to make a visit to Italy (1739-40), later described in Lettres familières écrites d'Italie à quelques amis (posthumous, 1799) in which he clearly portrayed the monuments and cities, as well as giving perspicacious observations on the mores of society and the church. Of an appealing vivacity of tone and freedom of thought that often approached cynicism, these Lettres were greatly valued by stendhal.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

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  • BROSSES (C. de) — Toute sa carrière de magistrat épicurien, et par conséquent courageux, inflexible sur l’honneur professionnel, Charles de Brosses la fit au parlement de Dijon, sa ville natale: fils de magistrat, il fut donc, dès vingt et un ans, conseiller; puis …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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