Biography (Dictionary of World Biography: The 19th Century)
Article abstract: Thiers was a central figure among the moderate politicians who in the early nineteenth century created the July Monarchy and, forty years later, the Third Republic. He also wrote important multivolume histories of the revolutionary and Napoleonic eras.
Marie-Joseph-Louis-Adolphe Thiers was born a month before his parents married. Four months later his ne’er-do-well father, Louis, disappeared and was not heard from again until his son was successful enough to provide financial support. Adolphe was reared in poverty by his mother, Marie-Madeleine (née Amic), and her mother. The experience left him with a lifelong inclination to seek some support and approval of his actions from older women.
With the help of relatives, Thiers received a proper education, and in November, 1815, he began a three-year tenure in law school at Aix-en-Provence. Thiers became a member of the bar in November, 1818, but times were hard for young lawyers. Thiers, short, almost gnomish, with a reedy voice, lacked the presence to get even his share of cases. He filled his time and pockets by competing for literary prizes offered by regional academies, but his real livelihood was provided by his mother. Prospects were few, and, urged by his friend François Mignet, Thiers decided to try his hand as a writer in Paris. He left his family and a woman who seems to have expected marriage.
(The entire section is 2610 words.)
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