Saxe, Maurice, comte de

Saxe, Maurice, comte de mōrēsˈ kôNt də säks [key], 1696–1750, marshal of France, one of the greatest generals of his age. He was the illegitimate son of Augustus II of Poland and Saxony and Countess Maria Aurora von Königsmark. When very young he entered the Saxon army, and in 1720 he went into French service. In 1726 he obtained leave to make good his claim to the duchy of Courland, but in 1727 the attempt failed. He fought under the duke of Berwick in the War of the Polish Succession. In the War of the Austrian Succession, he led the successful attack on Prague (1741) and later, after becoming (1744) marshal, made his reputation by victories at Fontenoy (1745) and Raucoux (1746) and by the capture of Maastricht (1748). In recognition of his services Louis XV gave him life tenure of the castle of Chambord and (1747) the title of marshal general. His Mes Rêveries (1757) is a remarkable work on the art of war. Maurice de Saxe was notorious for his amorous exploits and for his tragic liaison with Adrienne Lecouvreur. Among his descendants was George Sand. L. H. Thornton has translated (1944) Mes Rêveries.

See L. H. Thornton, Campaigners Grave and Gay (1925); J. E. M. White, Marshal of France: The Life and Times of Maurice, Comte de Saxe (1962).

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