I decided to research Lafayette after hearing his performance as the ‘fastest rapper on Broadway’ in the musical Hamilton. I found this book for free on Amazon and I do recommend that everyone picks this up.
It focuses of course; on the young nobleman, Gilbert Du Motier – Marquis de Lafayette who was raised in France in the 18th Century. He came from a long line of war heroes and had everything. Wit, education, military training, charisma. He floated around the highest circles of the French aristocracy and found out about the struggles in America when he was invited to lunch with the King of France & The King of England’s brother.
He made it known of his plans to go to America on his own to join in the fight for freedom and was actually refused permission to leave by King Louis XVI. Our hero didn’t listen so off to America he went.
The majority of the book highlights his rising to, alongside George Washington; being the most respected General in the American Revolution. His strategies, loyalty to his friends and his troops are presented fittingly. Martha Crow has researched well – a lot of what she bases the story on she backs up with letters and interviews of the time. We are gifted with many letters from Lafayette himself to people such as George Washington, John Adams etc… It touches on his relationship with Hamilton & Laurence. His relationship with Washington is the most emotional, especially in the letters sent and this can be seen in the fact Lafayette named his first son Georges Washington de Lefayatte.
After many well described and fitting moments in battles; Martha relates these to modern day America. Such as were certain statutes and monuments are now erected highlighted events that took place in the historical period.
The author mainly discusses the timeline of his involvement in the American revolution, his imprisonment in Austria and then his heroic return to America. This was as a guest 40 years later where 200,000 people welcomed him back to America before he visited as many providences as he could – imagine the biggest rock star in the world, times that by 1000 and that EVERYONE likes them – he was that big a deal.
I will agree this is quite a simple introduction in to this age and Lafayette himself as another review presented but it has thirst my knowledge further to find out more. It also does not feature any real details of his involvement in the French revolution. He was the ‘Hero of Two Worlds After All’. This is fine. I get the vibe Martha is a proud American who sees Lafayette as an important part of the heritage and the American side of things which is where her vision was focused of course.
I recommended reading this book. I lapped it up within 24 hours as the enigma that was Lafayette had such an amazing and potentially unequalled life. He had everything and risked giving it all up to help out a nation he knew nothing about. In the end he was heralded the world over. It is free on Amazon. I recommend getting it right now.