Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais Bibliography

Eugénie 1767
First performed 29 January 1767 and only moderately successful.
Les Deux Amis, ou Le Négociant de Lyon (The Two Friends, or The Negotiator from Lyons) 1770
First performed 13 January 1770 without success.
Mémoires 1773
Beaumarchais defence of his case in the Goëzman affair.
Le Barbier de Seville 1775
Both the The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro endorsed Diderot’s theories about acting. First performed on 23 February 1775, it was an instant success. It was first made into an opera by Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816), the leading creator of comic opera of his era after Mozart, in 1782 and then by Rossini in 1816.
Le Mariage de Figaro 1784
Beaumarchais completed Le Mariage de Figaro in 1779 and fought for five years against political opposition to the play before it was first performed on 27 April; it was then published in 1785. Louis XVI was unhappy with the play and his attempt to have it banned was ignored: “the Bastille would have to be pulled down before such a play could be safely staged”. “Persons of every condition”, wrote one contemporary, flocked to see Figaro “as though to find consolation in laughing at the foolishness of those who are the cause of their miseries.” Louis XVI sought revenge, when, displeased by an attack Beaumarchais had made on a hostile critic of the play, incarcerated him in a prison usually reserved for juvenile delinquents, Saint Lazare. However, due to the uproar this provoked, Beaumarchais was released after a few hours (March 1785), although he refused to leave until six days later. Beaumarchais was surprised by the reaction to the play: "If there is a greater folly than my play, it is its success".

Danton observed that Figaro killed off the aristocracy and Napoleon said he would have someone like Beaumarchais locked up: “Le Mariage de Figaro, c’est la Révolution en action”. Up until 1870, and the end of monarchy and Empire in France, Le Mariage was viewed as a subversive play. During the occupation the Germans refused to allow it to be performed in Paris and Mussolini banned it in Italy.
Tarare 1787
Beaumarchais opera, his “drama with music”, was a complete failure. When he revived it in 1790 he added cautionary lines – “liberty means obeying the law” – that made him a suspicious figure on both Left and Right.
L’Autre Tartuffe, ou Mère coupable (The Other Tartuffe, or The Guilty Mother) 1792
The last of the Figaro trilogy.
Les Six Époques de ma vie 1793
Pamphlet in which Beaumarchais, as commissionaire extraordinaire for the republic, defended, after being tricked by his enemies, his attempt to gain possession of 60,000 muskets stored in Holland after they had be laid down by combatants in the Brabant revolt, which had been crushed by Austria.