Allan Massie

Vaulting Ambition

The Man Who Outshone the Sun King: The Rise and Fall of Nicholas Foucquet

By

Nicolas Foucquet (1615–80) was a well-read man, but, like most Frenchmen of his time, he had probably scarcely heard of Shakespeare, and almost certainly never seen or read his plays. Had he done so, he might have taken note of Macbeth’s remarks about ‘vaulting ambition which o’erleaps itself and falls on th’other’, for his ambition was rash and excessive, and his fall precipitous.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • A treat from the LR Archive: exactly 20 years ago, Malcolm Bradbury reviewed John Updike's 'Bech at Bay' ,
    • ‘When bullets come close, the noise they make as they go past changes from a zing to a crack’ John Lanchester's dy… ,
    • Man with a Bloody Paintbrush: Robin Simon on Lucian Freud ,
    • Jane Ridley reviews The Diaries of Kenneth Rose (ed. D R Thorpe) ,
    • ‘Look,’ says Trump. ‘The fact is I’m only human.’ On the evidence of this book that point is debatable. From the A… ,
    • From our December/January issue - here's John Banville's review of Colm Tóibín on the fathers of Wilde, Yeats and J… ,
    • Hi , we would love to review 'Death of the Vazir-Mukhtar' in our next issue! Please could you get in… ,