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: Louis Alexandre de la Rochefoucauld was swallowed up by the tumult that followed his assassination in the September Massacre of 1792. Daniel Vaugelade, historian at the familyâs estate in la Roche-Guyon, lifts the veil in his biography of the remarkable duc. Mr. Vaugelade focuses on Louisâs contributions to the enlightenment of French Science, which entered a dynamic new era after Voltaire introduced the methods of Isaac Newton to his countrymen in the late-1740s. Louisâs wealth allowed him to pursue his interests, which were shaped by his mother. Louise Elisabeth Nicole de la Rochefoucauld, duchesse d'Enville (1716 â 1797) is considered by many as the most brilliant woman in pre-revolutionary France. He efforts to modernize farming practices on her properties were the seeds of her sonâs interest in economics and agricultural reform. Louis joined his motherâs circle after receiving his grandfatherâs title in 1762. Its members included Turgot, Turgotâs protÃ©gÃ© Condorcet, Lavoisior, Fourcroy, and Malesherbes. These men became Louisâs friends and advisors. He embarked on his own scientific journey with a tour began in Geneva, where he met Saussure and Lesage. From there he inspected the glaciers of Savoy, the volcanoes in Italy, and iron mines in Sweden. He ended his tour in Berlin where he met Frederick II. Having explored and discovered, Louis dedicated himself to supporting the work of his countryâs greatest scientists. The reward for his patronage was his election as President of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1774 and the Royal Academy of Sciences in 1781. These and other posts allowed Louis to communicate with many of Franceâs scientific pioneers. Mr. Vaugeladeâs final section contains several of these correspondences.