Bernard Germain de Lacépède

Bernard Germain de La Cépède

1756 (Agen, France) – 1825 (Épinay-sur-Seine)

The aristocratic Lacépède is mostly known for his continuation, after Buffon’s death, of his great descriptive ‘Natural History’. Gluck complimented the 20-year-old on his unperformed opera. Buffon befriended him after reading some of his writings, taught him (as did Daubenton), and regarded him as his protégé and chosen successor. Cuvier was a close colleague, as were Monge, Berthollet, Chaptal and Laplace. Geoffroy corresponded from Egypt, and took over his position when he fled the Revolution. Lalande was a Masonic colleague; Jefferson corresponded about the possibility of trade-routes and live mammoths.