ABSTRACT

On Karl-Eugen’s death the throne passed to his brother Ludwig-Eugen, at that time aged sixty-two. As a young man he had served in the French Army, distinguishing himself during the Minorca campaign and particularly in the capture of Mahon (1756). The Prince was stationed in Paris and his correspondence shows that he wrote French correctly and with wit. 1 He was a well known figure in the fashionable salons, of which his favourite was that of M. de la Popelinière, the ostentatious Maecenas of the Château de Passy, at that time the rendezvous of the greatest artists and wits. He knew Buffon, La Tour, Rameau and J.-J. Rousseau, with whom he corresponded in 1760. He was on very good terms with Voltaire: ‘I love you,’ he wrote to him in 1755, ‘from the bottom of my heart and with a tender friendship…. You say, monsieur, that I am an exile and you cannot see why I should serve France. I think that I am in a better position here to render important services to my country than by remaining at home.’