|Louis-Jules-Barbon Mancini-Mazarini, duc de Nivernais by Allan Ramsay, 1763|
We return to France today to meet a nobleman who was a soldier, diplomat and celebrated author. Louis-Jules Barbon Mancini-Mazarini, duc de Nivernais lived a long and eventful life; he tasted both highs and lows, living to see revolution sweep through his country.
Mancini-Mazarini was born the son of Philippe Jules François Mancini, duc de Nevers, and his wife, Maria Anna Spinola. By the age of 14 he was already married to Hélène Françoise Angélique Phélypeaux de Pontchartrain, and just three years later, was a professional soldier serving in continental campaigns. However, Mancini-Mazarini's military career was ended by failing health and he moved into politics, serving as ambassador to Rome, Berlin and London, where he was instrumental in negotiating the Treaty of Paris, which formally ended the Seven Years' War.
In 1742 Mancini-Mazarini composed a poem named Délie that gained him a number of plaudits and as a result, he was elected to the Académie Française. He wrote original and translated pieces throughout his life and many works were published posthumously, though he never again approached the success of this earliest poem.
As a member of the Council of State, Mancini-Mazarini refused to flee Paris in the face of Revolution and was imprisoned, his assets and finances seized. Although he was freed after Robespierre's death, the Duke never recovered his earlier office or influence and died in 1798.