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Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732-1799) was an exceptional French writer of prose comedy during the eighteenth century. He is best known for his theatrical works of the three Figaro plays. Beaumarchais had an action-filled career as a watchmaker, musician, secret agent, businessman, diplomat and a financer of revolutions. His literary career was as turbulent as his personal life. After a series of lawsuits in Paris, the accounts of his trials made his reputation as a sarcastic, effective, and recognized writer. "The Marriage of Figaro" is the second in the Figaro Trilogy, preceded by "The Barber of Seville" and followed by "The Guilty Mother". It was originally a comic opera, or a mixture of spoken play with music. This play was considered a foreshadowing of the French Revolution in its offense of the rights of the aristocracy. It was first banned in Vienna due to its satire of the nobility, considered dangerous in the decade before the revolution. Thanks to the great success of its predecessor, it opened with enormous success, eventually becoming one of Mozart's most successful operatic works.