Memoirs, 1773-1793

by Louis-Philippe d’ Orleans.Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, $19.95. Is it his title of Citizen King that makes one expect Louis-Philippe’s memoirs to run to figures, tax returns, and forgotten legislation? Not so at all. He set out to record the most exciting period of his life, which was, naturally, the years of the Revolution. As a prince of the old regime, son of Philippe Egalité, brought up to believe in the desirability of a constitutional monarchy, he was in an uncomfortable but wellinformed position. Even as a juvenile general defending France’s northern frontier against the royalist coalition, he could hear the rumble of falling governments in Paris. His account of those dangerous years is clear and seemingly straightforward, with a minimum of recrimination and, except where his father’s reputation is concerned, little display of emotion. In his methodical, unhurried way, however, he created a memorable panorama of an important period. It is astonishing that these memoirs should have been kept under the rug until 1973, but that appears to be the case. Foreword by Henri, Comte de Paris. Translation and introduction by John Hardman.