In June, 1777, nineteen-year old Marquis de Lafayette landed in the American colonies to fight in their revolution, and the rest, as they say, is history.
But over time many truths have been stretched, including, most recently, a singing role in a hit Broadway musical.
Still, the great historical mystery remains: how did the character of the young Gilbert de Lafayette develop?
Lafayette wrote his own words about his early life serving as an elder statesman in the French Chamber of Deputies, and, as such, they were shaded both to the heroic, as well as to the political climate of the day. S.P. Grogan writes a fascinating fictional narrative about Gilbert Lafayette and his coming-of-age in the mid 1770s amidst the decadence of Queen Marie Antoinette's French court.
The story begins with young Gilbert sworn to avenge his military father's death at the hands of the British.
The reader will track how a country boy of Auvergne became the richest orphan in France, and how forces behind the throne, trying to gain control over his fortune, seek to marry him off to a twelve-year old girl to support one of the most powerful military castes in France. Lafayette - Courtier to Crown Fugitive is an 'action' story of highway robbers, spies, and court intrigues.
The reader can see the developing psychological make-up of Lafayette: his search for a father-figure, his need for supportive love, and his blind passion for glory and fame.
What is revealed is a young boy in the throes of transformation under the influences of Queen Marie Antoinette's lifestyle of spoiled privilege, his attitude toward his young wife in a forced marriage, the secrets of the Masonic fraternity, the writings of Voltaire, the Encyclopedistes, and the voice of the anti-slavery Abbot Raynal.
All come together to transform his mind-set, as Gilbert, blinded by class liberte idealism, seeks to run away to join the American revolutionary army.
In doing so, he becomes a fugitive from the King's edicts, and his ensuing flight and pursuit climax in a showdown on the beaches of Spain.