VOLNEY DE CHASSEBOEUF, François, comte de

VOLNEY DE CHASSEBOEUF (BOISGIRAIS), Constantin-François, comte de. Craon, Anjou 3.2.1757 — Paris 25.4.1820. French Asian Traveller, Historian, Philosopher and Politician. Son of Jacques-René Chasseboeuf and Jeanne Gigault (d. 1759), of minor nobility. Studied classics in Paris and soon befriended with intellectuals. In 1782 left for Egypt, then travelled in the Near East returning in 1785. In early revolution he was member of the Estates-General and of the National Constituent Assembly, but later imprisoned by Jacobines. Escaping guillotine he then taught as Professor of History at the newly founded École normale. In 1795 he went to the U.S.A., but was imprisoned as supposed French spy and returned to France. In the early 1800s he attended Alexander Hamilton’s Sanskrit classes and later was active in promoting Asian studies. As a politician he was moderate liberal, Napoleon made him a count and Louis XVII a Peer of France. Member of French Academy (1795). Married 1810 his cousin Charlotte Gigault de La Giraudais (1766–1864), no children.

Publications: Historical studies. a travel book (1788) and other works; Œuvres complètes. Précédées d’une Notice sur la Vie et les Écrits de l’Auteur. P. 1954.

Sources: Wikipedia with drawing and bust (more in French version with two portraits and two busts).

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