de Bourgoing, Jean-Francois
Jean-François, baron de Bourgoing (20 November 1748, Nevers - 20 July 1811, Karlovy Vary) was a French diplomat, writer and translator. A commander of the légion d'honneur, he was also a corresponding member of the French Academy of Sciences, a member of the Copenhagen Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences from 1810, a knight then a baron de l'Empire, and a knight of the Swedish Order of the Polar Star. (taken from Wikipedia.)2013 0-7734-4074-7
This book is a report on Spain written in Madrid by the French diplomat Jean-Francois de Bourgoing when France was becoming increasingly involved in the American Revolution. At that time the French were pressing the Spaniards to join them. Bourgoing first describes Spanish society on religiosity, the Church and the Inquisition. His perspective is that of a disciple of Voltaire. His description of the various governmental bodies, the economy and foreign trade, especially with Spain’s vast colonial empire including the Indies, was designed to be practical for French policy makers. The final chapters on the Court and the state of the arts in Spain reveal Bourgoing’s chauvinism. His secularism, typical of France’s enlightened elite, was to culminate in the French Revolution a decade later.