Recollections of the court of Stanislas Leckzinski

Pierre Rétat

1The title was given by the text’s first publishers. The manuscript, a holograph according to the publishers, which was long at La Brède, has not been seen since a sale in 1965.

2Montesquieu probably wrote it during his stay in Lorraine from about 8 June to 11 July 1747, with Mme de Mirepoix, née Beauvau-Craon, an important Lorraine personality. While there, he was a frequent guest of the court and king at Lunéville.

3These “recollections” are made up of disparate anecdotes of the life of Stanislas which Montesquieu garnered from the king himself (“The king told me that […]”, “the king was saying that […]”) and of some observations on his Lorraine residences: the king “has admirable taste in houses and gardens”, everything there is “unusual and bespeaks the king’s genius”.


Manuscript not located localisé [2015: Manuscrit located at the library of the Lorraine Historical Society and the Lorraine Museum (Site Montesquieu, actualité du 4 décembre 2015 (].

First edition

Voyages, t. II (1896), p. 387-390.

Critical edition

OC, t. IX, p. 297-304 (ed. Jonas Steffen).