The Chairfather: Père Lachaise Part I

    Js headshot 180x180
    31 Jan 2018
    Clock 60min      Length1mi
    28 ratings


    Pay wave

    You'll see two tombs on your right with Chinese writing followed by a white tomb surrounded by a square of white stone. This is our next host.

    Make your way over to him.

    Pierre-Augustin Caron started from humble beginnings then married a rich noblewoman. She gave him the title de Beaumarchais, and died the year after, leaving him comfortable. Lucky him. Then he did it again, this time the richer lady lasted three years before croaking, scoring Beaumarchais a jackpot of a life of leisure. It didn't last, as lengthy court battles over the inheritance and disfavor from the crown left him having to hustle to maintain his lavish lifestyle.

    He financed the sale of arms for both the American war for independence and then the French revolution. Both proved a financial disaster for Beaumarchais, as the Americans never paid him, and neither the French government under Louis the 15th nor the République fully reimbursed him.

    His writings, and those of his contemporaries in the 'century of light,' inspired democratic thought. Both the Barber of Seville by Rossini and the Marriage of Figaro by Mozart were operas adapted from his plays. The former was written by Beaumarchais from an English jail cell, captured for spying on behalf of France. The latter got him thrown into a French jail cell, for lines considered too libertarian by King Louis the 16th. Still, he claimed the words as his own, and even created the notion of copyright for written works, which became law under the first Republic.

    Artist and champion of individual rights? Or insolent profiteer? Beaumarchais was a controversial character, whose driving self-interest gave birth to the world's first democracies.

    Leave Beaumarchais on your right and continue to climb the cobblestone path. Keep a lookout on the right for a tall dome labeled Bibesco.

Similar Audio Tours in Paris

by Philippa Campsie in Paris
04 Feb 2015
Hepburn pic 2

Through fashionable Paris in the footsteps of Audrey Hepburn

Distance 2mi
Duration 15min
3 ratings

Audrey Hepburn owed her inimitable style to a lifelong love affair with Paris and its designers. She made five films here, starting with Funny Face in 1957. Love in the Afternoon came next, and after that there was Charade, Paris When It Sizzles,... More»

Locicon 7 Place de l...
by Philippa Campsie in Paris
30 Apr 2015
Coco chanel tuilleries

Coco Chanel's Paris

Distance 1mi
Duration 30min
8 ratings

Coco Chanel has been the subject of biographies, movies, television programs, and even books like “The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World’s Most Elegant Woman.”

Born Gabrielle Chanel, she defied humble origins to... More»

Locicon Terrasse des...
by Philippa Campsie in Paris
29 May 2015

Finding the Lost Generation in Montparnasse

Distance 2mi
Duration 75min
11 ratings

This tour takes you through the haunts of writers and artists in 1920s Paris, including Ernest and Hadley Hemingway, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Amedeo Modigliani and Jeanne Hebuterne, Kiki de Montparnasse, the... More»