Joseph Fouché - in Literature and On Screen

In Literature and On Screen

The Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig wrote a biography of Fouché, entitled Joseph Fouché. Zweig takes a psychological approach to understanding the complicated minister of police. Zweig asks himself in the beginning of the book about how Fouché could "survive" in power from the revolution to the monarchy.

Fouché also appears as one of the main characters in For The King, a novel by Catherine Delors (Dutton, 2010), where his role in the Plot of the Rue Saint-Nicaise is discussed.

Fouché was featured as one of the two main (and only) characters in the play by Jean-Claude Brisville Supping with the Devil in which he is depicted dining with Talleyrand while deciding how to preserve their respective power under the coming regime. The drama was hugely successful and turned into a film directed by Édouard Molinaro, starring Claude Rich and Claude Brasseur.

Joseph Conrad portrayed Fouché briefly in his short story The Duel (1924), which was filmed in 1977 as The Duellists, written by Gerald Vaughan-Hughes and directed by Ridley Scott. Fouché is portrayed by Albert Finney.

Fouché appears as a recurring character in the Roger Brook series of historical novels by Dennis Wheatley. He is referenced on the first page of the novel Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind as a 'gifted abomination'.

In Mountolive (1958), the third novel of Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria Quartet, a French diplomat is said to have (ironically) complimented the cruel and venal Egyptian Minister of the Interior, Memlik Pasha, by telling him that he is "...regarded as the best Minister of Interior in modern history--indeed, since Fouché there has been no-one to equal you." Memlik is so taken with the comparison that he orders a bust of Fouché from France, which then sits in his reception room gathering dust.

In the Richard Sharpe series of historical novels, set during the Napoleonic Wars, Fouché is mentioned as an early mentor of Sharpe's bitter enemy Pierre Ducos, a French spymaster. Fouché makes an appearance in the Doctor Who novel World Game by Terrance Dicks.

The novel Captain Cut-Throat by John Dickson Carr, set in Napoleonic France in 1805, when the invasion of England was planned, portrays Fouché scheming and counter-scheming various complicated plots.

Fouché is a significant character in The Carton Chronicles : The Curious Tale of Flashman's true father (2010) by Keith Laidler

Fouché was portrayed by French actor Gérard Depardieu on the mini-series Napoleon.

In the 1949, Hollywood historical drama Reign of Terror, Fouché is played by Arnold Moss.

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