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LOUVET, J.—LOUVIERS

The word has been derived from the French l'ouverl, the “ open" space. This, Minsheu's guess, is now generally abandoned. The Old French form, of which the English is an adaptation, was lover or lovier. The medieval Latin lodiurn, lodariurn, is su gested as the ultimate origin. Du Cange (Glossariurn, s.v. “ lodia "§ defines it as luguriurn, i.e. a small hut. The English form “ louvre ” is due to a confusion with the name of the palace in Paris. The origin of that name is also unknown; louverie, place of wolves, is one of the suggestions, the palace being supposed to have originally been a hunting-box (see PARIS).


LOUVET, JEAN (c. 1370–c. 1440), called the president of Provence, occupied the position of president of the Chambre des Comptes at Aix in 1415. Towards the end of that year he went to Paris with Louis II. of Anjou, king of Sicily, attached himself to the dauphin Charles, and after having been chief steward of the household to Queen Isabella he turned against her. He was one of the principal agents of the Armagnac party, and became the most influential adviser of Charles VII. during the first years of his reign. But his rapacity gained him enemies, and when the constable Arthur, earl of Richmond, attained a preponderating influence over Charles VII. Louvet retired to his captaincy of Avignon. He still remained a personage of importance in his exile, and played an influential part even in his last years.

See Vailet de Viriville in the Nouvelle Biographie générale, and G. du Fresne de Beaucourt, Histoire de Charles VII. (1881–1891).  (J. V.*) 


LOUVET DE COUVRAI, JEAN BAPTISTE (1760-1797), French writer and politician, was born in Paris on the 12th of June 1760, the son of a stationer. He became a bookseller's clerk, and first attracted attention with a not very moral novel called Les Arnours du cliefualier de Faublas (Paris, 1787~1789). The character of the heroine of this book, Lodoiska, was taken from the wife of a jeweller in the Palais Royal, with whom he had formed a liaison. She was divorced from her husband in 1792 and married Louvet in 1793. His second novel, Emilie de-Varmonl, was intended to prove the utility and necessity of divorce and of the marriage of priests, questions raised by the Revolution. Indeed all his works were directed to the ends of the Revolution. He attempted to have one of his unpublished plays, L'Anobli conspiraleur, performed at the Theatre Français, and records naively that one of its managers, M. d'Orfeuil, listened to the reading of the first three acts “ with mortal impatience, ” exclaiming at last: “I should need cannon in order to put that piece on the stage.” A “ sort of farce ” at the expense of the army of the érnigrés, La Grande Revue des arrnées noire el blanche, had, however, better success: it ran for twenty five nights.

Louvet was, however, first brought into notice as a politician by his Paris justijié, in reply to a “truly incendiary” pamphlet in which Mounier, after the removal of the king to Paris in October 1789, had attacked the capital, “ at that time blameless, ” and argued that the court should be established elsewhere. This led to Louvet's election to the Tacobin Club, for which, as he writes bitterly in his Memoirs, the qualifications were then “ a genuine civisrne and some talent.” A self-styled philosopher of the true revolutionary type, he now threw himself ardently into the campaign against “despotism ” and “ reaction, ” i.e. against the moderate constitutional royalty advocated by Lafayette, the Abbé Maury and other “ Machiavellians.” On the 25th of December 1791 he presented at the bar of the Assembly his Petition contre les princes, which had “ a prodigious success in the senate and the empire.” Elected deputy to the Assembly for the department of Loiret, he made his first speech in January 1792. He attached himself to the Girondists, whose vague deism, sentimental humanitarianism and ardent republicanism he fully shared, and from March to November 1792 he published, at Roland's expense, a bi-weekly journalajiche, of which the title, La Senlinelle, proclaimed its mission to be to “ enlighten the people on all the plots ” at a time when, Austria having declared war, the court was “visibly betraying our armies." On the 10th of August he became editor of the Journal des débats, and in this capacity, as well as in the Assembly, made himself conspicuous by his attacks on Robespierre, Marat and the other Montagnards, whom he declares he would have succeeded in bringing to justice in September but for the poor support he received from the Girondist leaders. It is more probable, however, that his ill-balanced invective contributed to their ruin and his own; for him Robespierre was a “ royalist, ” Marat “ the principal agent of England, ” the Montagnards Orleanists in masquerade. His courageous attitude at the trial of Louis XVI., when he supported the “appeal to the people, ” only served still further to discredit the Girondists. He defended them, however, to the last with great courage, if with little discretion; and after the crisis of the 31st of May 1793 he shared the perils of the party who iied from Paris (see GIRONDISTS). His wife, “ Lodoiska, ” who had actively cooperated in his propaganda, was also in danger.

After the fall of Robespierre, he was recalled to the Convention, when he was instrumental in bringing Carrier and the others responsible for the N oyades of Nantes to justice. His influence was now considerable; he was elected a member of the Committee of the Constitution, president of the Assembly, and member of the Committee of Public Safety, against the overgrown power of which he had in earlier days protested. His hatred of the Mountain had not made him reactionary; he was soon regarded as one of the mainstays of the “ Jacobins, ” and La Sentinelle reappeared, under his auspices, preaching union among republicans. Under the Directory (1795) he was elected a member of the Council of Five Hundred, of which he was secretary, and also a member of the Institute. Meanwhile he had returned to his old trade and set up a bookseller's shop in the Palais Royal. But, in spite of the fact that he had once more denounced the ]acobins in La Senlinelle, his name had become identified with all that the combative spirits of the jeunesse dorée most disliked; his shop was attacked by the “ young men” with cries of “ fl bas la Loupe, a bas la belle Lodoiska, d bas les gardes du corps de Louvet! " he and his wife were insulted in the streets and the theatres: “ fl bas les Louvets et les Louvetantsl” and he was compelled to leave Paris. The Directory appointed him to the consulship at Palermo, but he died on the'2 5th of August 1797 before taking up his post.

In 1795 Louvet published a portion of his Memoirs under the title of Quelques notices pour l'histoire el le récit de mes périls depuis le 31 mai 1793. They were mainly written in the various hiding-places in which Louvet rook refuge, and they give a vivid picture of the sufferings of the proscribed Girondists. They form an invaluable document for the study of the psychology of the Revolution; for in spite of their considerable literary art, they are artless in their revelation of the mental and moral state of their author, a characteristic type of the honest, sentimental, somewhat hysterical and wholly unbalanced minds nurtured on the abstractions of the philosophers. The first complete edition of the Mérnoires de Louvet de Couvrai, edited, with preface, notes and tables, by F. A. Aulard, was published at Paris in 1889. .


LOUVIERS, a town of north-western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Eure, 17% m. S.S.E. of Rouen by road. Pop. (1906) 9449. Louviers is pleasantly situated in a green valley surrounded by wooded hills, on the Eure, which here divides into several branches. The old part of the town, built of wood, stands on the left bank of the river; the more modern portions, in brick and hewn stone, on the Iight. There are spacious squares, and the place is surrounded by boulevards. The Gothic church of Notre-Dame has a south portal which ranks among the most beautiful works of the kind produced in the 15th century; it contains fine stained glass of the 15th and 16th centuries and other works of art. The hotel-de-ville, a large modern building, contains a museum and library. The chief industry is cloth and flannel manufacture. There are wool-spinning and fulling mills, thread factories and manufactories of spinning and weaving machinery, and enamel ware; leather-working, dyeing, metal-founding and bell-founding are also carried on. The town is the seat of a sub-prefect and has a court of first instance, a tribunal of commerce, a chamber of arts and manufactures, and a council of trade arbitrators.

Louviers (Lovera) was originally a 'villa of the dukes of Normandy and in the middle ages belonged to the archbishops of Rouen; its cloth-making industry first arose in the beginning of the 13th century. It changed hands once and again during the Hundred Years' War, and from Charles VII. it received extensive privileges,