Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

La Rochefoucauld

La Rochefoucauld, Francois, Duc de (1613-80), the great maxim-writer, was born in Paris, the descendant of a very old noble family. The family had large estates in Angoumois, and the father of the maxim-writer was made a Duke by Louis XIII. During the lifetime of the old Duke his son was known as Prince de Marsillac. Under this name he served in the wars, intrigued with Anne of Austria against Richelieu, and was banished to his estates for so doing, joined in the league against Gaston of Orleans, and took part in the first Fronde, in which he was badly wounded. During the second Fronde, in which he followed Conde, La Rochefoucauld was shot through the head in the battle of the Faubourg St.-Antoine (1652); and he now spent some years in retirement. In 1662 he disavowed the Memoirs published by the Elzevirs in his name. His Maxims (Reflexions, ou Sentences et Maximes Morales) appeared in 1665 anonymously, and their value was immediately recognised. The author returned to Court shortly before the death of Mazarin, and formed a friendship with Madame de la Fayette. His Maxims are both a literary and philosophical masterpiece. La Rochefoucauld's Memoirs have also great literary and historical value, but it was not till 1817 that anything like a genuine edition of them appeared.