French publicist, b. at Lisieux, Calvados, in 1842; d. at Paris, June 15, 1912
Leroy-Beaulieu, ANATOLE, French publicist, b. at Lisieux, Calvados, in 1842; d. at Paris, June 15, 1912. After publishing in 1866 a romance entitled “Une troupe de comediens”, a kind of historical romance dealing with the Italian risorgimento, he directed his attention to political and historical studies. His articles on Napoleon III, Victor Emmanuel, and Pius IX, collected in 1879 in a volume entitled “Un empereur, un roi, un pape, une restauration”, are very important for the history of the second French Empire. His article in the “Revue des Deux Mondes” (December 1, 1874) on the restoration of historical monuments was a most original protest against the false tendencies which impelled Viollet-le-Duc and his disciples, under pretext of restoration, to rebuild the Gothic cathedral according to certain preconceived systems, instead of making the necessary repairs with conscientiousness and moderation. Leroy-Beaulieu’s three volumes entitled “L’empire des tsars et lea Russes” (1883-87) are an important work: the information they contain with regard to the Russian religion and the various sects scattered throughout the Slavic empire will long retain its value. His work on Milutin gives a stirring account of the emancipation of the serfs under Alexander II. He is likewise the author of detailed studies on the Liberal Catholics of France in the nineteenth century, and his book entitled “La papaute, le socialisme, et la democratie” was the first to welcome Leo XIII’s Encyclical “Rerum Novarum“. In principles he was opposed to all such doctrines which he called doctrines of hate; in 1897 he gave a conference against Antisemitism at the Institut Catholique of Paris; in 1903, when the policy of anticlericalism dealt a serious blow in the Levant to the religious influence of France and the protectorate of the missions he sounded an alarm in the “Revue des Deux Mondes”.
Though much attached to all ideas of liberty, Leroy-Beaulieu did not share the blind enthusiasm of the Liberals of the first half of the nineteenth century for the principles of the Revolution; he was able to form a critical opinion of the liberalism and individualism which had proceeded from the Revolution, and his admiration for the Declaration of the Rights of Man did not prevent him from asserting in his book, “La revolution et le liberalisme”, that “the idea of duty should be restored to its place beside that of right”. In 1906 he became director of the Free School of Political Science, where he had long been teaching, and he retained this position till his death. He had belonged to the Academie des Sciences Morales since 1887.