Alexis-Henri-Charles Clérel, Count of Tocqueville, is a thinker and politician, historian and writer. He is famous for his analysis of the French Revolution, American Democracy and the evolution of Western democracies in general.
Born on July 29, 1805, in Paris, from a Norman noble family, Alexis de Tocqueville has several illustrious ancestors. He is great-grandson of Malesherbes, minister of Louis XVI, and nephew of Chateaubriand’s older brother, through his mother. He comes down from St. Louis through his paternal grandmother. His ultra-royalists parents, Hervé Clérel de Tocqueville, Count of Tocqueville, soldier of the King’s Constitutional Guard, and Louise Madeleine Le Peletier de Rosanbo, avoided the guillotine thanks to the fall of Robesbierre in year II (1794). He has two brothers : Edward and Hippolyte.
His father wrote in his memoirs:
“On July 29, Alexis, my third son, was born. His mother was sorry to have a third boy. This child had a so singular, expressive face that I told his mother he would be a distinguished man and I added with a laugh that, one day, he would become Emperor. I believe he will realize the first part of the prediction: I do not wish him the fulfillment of the last”
Alexis died on April 16, 1859 in Cannes, where doctors had advised him to spend the winter, treating his repeated bronchitis (actually respiratory infections linked to pulmonary tuberculosis). He is buried in Tocqueville Cemetery, in accordance with his last wishes:
“I wish to be buried very simply in the cemetery of the parish of Tocqueville, a very modest monument: my name, the date of my birth and that of my death. I pray to my dear and beloved Mary to make wills to be deposited next to me. She is the only person I have really and perfectly loved; I owed him all the true happiness I tasted in this world. Nothing is sweeter to my thoughts than the idea that death will separate us as little as possible and that we will rest together in the places we have traveled so many times and where we have spent the quietest and happiest days of our lives. ».
Mary left the castle to live at the Hotel Poërier de Portbail in Valognes, before joining her husband in the cemetery of Tocqueville in December 1864.