“Writing the history of your country and of your time means going over in your mind with a lot of thought everything you have seen. "
Saint-Simon, the main dates
January 16, 1675
May 3, 1693
January 21, 1734
March 2, 1755
Birth of Louis De Rouvroy. He is the only son of Duke Claude de Saint-Simon and his wife Charlotte de l'Aubespine. It has for godfather and godmother the King and the Queen of France: Louis XIV and Marie Thérèse.
He is presented to King Louis XIV, who authorizes him to enter the company of gray musketeers.
His father, Claude, who had been made duke by Louis XIII, dies. Louis inherits the title of duke and the domain of La Ferté-Vidame.
He married Marie-Gabrielle de Lorges, daughter of a marshal. This marriage allows him to settle in Versailles in the accommodation of his father-in-law. Three children will be born: Charlotte (1696), Jacques-Louis (1698) and Armand (1699).
Saint-Simon submits to the Abbé de Rancé - reformer of La Trappe - the first pages of the Memoirs (which he began to write when he was nineteen). He continued to write them throughout his life.
The Duke of Berry, the King's third grandson, married the daughter of the Duke of Orleans. Saint-Simon who worked for his marriage is thanked by the King: his wife is appointed lady of honor to the Duchess of Berry. He obtains his own apartment at the Palace of Versailles.
Louis XIV died on September 1, 1715. Following the death of the monarch, the Regency was put in place, Saint-Simon was then Minister of State and attended the Council of Regency.
Saint-Simon is appointed Exceptional Ambassador to Spain to conclude the marriages of Louis XV and the daughter of Philippe V. He will be made Grand of Spain by King Philippe V. This mission is a great success, but it considerably deepens the duke's coffers.
Following the death of the Regent on December 2, 1723, Saint-Simon left the Court for his castle of La Ferté-Vidame and his Parisian hotel.
His wife, the Duchess of Saint-Simon, died of pneumonia. Overwhelmed by grief, the duke sketches a line of tears and crosses in the Memoirs. He only resumed writing after six months. He will never mourn.
Saint-Simon dies in his Parisian apartment. His sons died before him, he leaves no male inheritance. He is the second and last Duke of Saint-Simon. In accordance with his last wishes, his coffin is attached to that of his wife in the vault of the church of La Ferté-Vidame. His granddaughter, the Countess of Valentinois inherits his property.
Saint-Simon and the Memoirs
Saint-Simon at less than 20 years old when he began to write the Mémoires
This is the number of years he will spend accumulating documentation
This is the number of years that the Memoirs remained hidden before they began to be distributed under the cloak.
Memoirs are devoted to life at the Court of Versailles
Characters are presented in the work of the Memoirs
Portraits drawn up throughout
of the book
Saint-Simon and La Ferté-Vidame
Little work will be done at the castle, the latter will keep its medieval appearance. Around 1718 the stables were built and subsequently transformed into a small castle. On his death, Saint-Simon was buried alongside his wife, Gabrielle de Durfort de Lorges, in the Saint-Nicolas church built by his father in 1658.
Child of Perche and lover of La Ferté-Vidame, Saint-Simon forges strong ties that will never weaken. In 1693 on the death of his father, Duke Claude de Saint-Simon, he inherited the estate in addition to the title of Vidame de Chartres. During his many visits, and regular stays during the Easter fortnight, he meets the one who becomes his spiritual father: the Abbot of Rancé.
The good words of Saint-Simon
"It was a pierced basket, crazy to lock up, but pleasant with the wit of projections."
About the Comte d'Aubigné.
"Monsieur was the most stupid woman in the world, and Madame the most stupid man he had ever seen."
About Monsieur and Princess Palatine.
"Madame de Castries was a quarter of a woman, a sort of shortbread cookie, extremely small but well taken."
About the Marquise de Castries.
"The taste, the example and the favor of the late king had made Paris the sewer of the pleasures of all Europe."
About Louis XIV.