François de La Rochefoucauld

1613 (Paris) – 1680 (Paris)

La Rochefoucauld is known for his gently acerbic maxims, influential not only in France, but for example on the aphoristic philosophers Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. He never considered himself a writer so much as a soldier – twice seriously injured in battle – and (benign) member of the nobility. A regular at the salons of his friends Mme de Sablé, Mme de Sévigné, and most particularly, Mme de La Fayette, with whom he had an intimate (though possibly chaste) relationship, he preferred the company of women to men, introduced La Fayette to Racine and Boileau, and knew La Fontaine.

François de La Rochefoucauld knew…