Joseph du Fresne de Francheville

Joseph du Fresne de Francheville

Born Sep 18, 1704 in Dourlens, France
Died 1781

Biography: 

French writer born in Dourlens on September 18, 1704.

He first became known for his Histoire des Finances, published in 1738-1740. In 1741 was published his Premières expéditions de Charlemagne and in 1755 his poem Bombyx.

In 1747 Voltaire, a friend of his, published Le Siècle de Louis XIV (The Century of Louis XIV) in Francheville's name.

According to Boswell on the Grand Tour I, 1763-1764 "a second-rate man of letters who owed his place in the Academy solely to Frederick's [the Great] passion for French literature".

Life with Boswell: 

Boswell attended at meeting at the Royal Academy of Berlin on September 13, 1764, at which Francheville was present and at which he "read a dissertation on the art of making ambergris, with which I was not grealy edified. After he had done, not a word was said. The Academicians grinned and separated."

Francheville, again according to Boswell on the Grand Tour I, 1763-1764, "dismissed various theories of the origin of ambergris (including the correct one), and maintained that it was formed from a mixture of honey and wax which had floated from the seaside nests of the wild bee."

Literature: 

Some of his works are occasionally available via AbeBooks.com but he is largely forgotten today.