"Next Stop: Lesseps !"
Let us evoke this week one of our most illustrious compatriots who lived here in Barcelona, the diplomat and entrepreneur Ferdinand de Lesseps (1805-1894). While many inhabitants of Barcelona may only have a vague idea of the personality of the founder of the Suez Canal enterprise, the Lesseps name is known here to everyone: many have passed through the Plaça Lesseps, served by a metro stop of the same name, and the most Francophiles of course know the prestigious Ecole Française Ferdinand de Lesseps, founded by the former Consul-General of France who had won the hearts of the Barcelonese during the popular uprising of 1842.

In 1849, at the height of his diplomatic career, the emissary had been entrusted with a mission of conciliation between the Republicans in power in Rome and the Vatican. Finally disavowed by Napoleon III, in the tumultuous context of Italy's Wars of Unification, he was accused of collusion with the enemy and called to appear before the Assembly and the Council of State. Ferdinand de Lesseps published several writings in response to these accusations. The last of them was this rare memoir, of which we are pleased to present this remarkable copy, bound at the time in ornamented calf. The book constitutes, to some extent, the diplomatic will of the man who, deeply wounded by the injustice he considered himself a victim of, would put an end to a diplomatic career for which his name is now known to all the Barcelonese.




posted by  Benjamin at  16:31 | comments [0]


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