The Baron in the Trees

The Baron in the Trees

by

Italo Calvino

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The di Rondòs’ spiritual leader and Biagio and Cosimo’s tutor. He’s an old, sleepy, and vacant man; Baron Arminio chose him mostly because the Abbé is a Jansenist and not a Jesuit. The Abbé is a poor caregiver and under his watch, the boys get away with all sorts of mischief. Later, after Cosimo climbs into the trees, the Abbé’s world begins to open up. Cosimo is able to convince him to sometimes climb into the trees for lessons, and the Abbé becomes very interested in Enlightenment ideas. When he starts ordering books by Enlightenment philosophers, however, higher-ups in the church arrest him. Biagio explains that Abbé Fauchelafleur dies unsure of what exactly he believes in, but trying his hardest to believe in something, nonetheless.
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Abbé Fauchelafleur Character Timeline in The Baron in the Trees

The timeline below shows where the character Abbé Fauchelafleur appears in The Baron in the Trees. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Coming of Age, Family, and the Individual Theme Icon
...Rondò; his brother, the cavalier avvocato; his wife, the Generalessa; their daughter Battista; the tutor Abbé Fauchelafleur; along with eight-year-old Biagio and twelve-year-old Cosimo—gather in the villa’s dining room at midday,... (full context)
Coming of Age, Family, and the Individual Theme Icon
The Age of Enlightenment vs. The Romantic Era Theme Icon
...isn’t sure if he expects an invite to the court of Austria or France. The Abbé seems to not care about anything, while the cavalier avvocato steals entire turkey thighs during... (full context)
Coming of Age, Family, and the Individual Theme Icon
The Age of Enlightenment vs. The Romantic Era Theme Icon
...he continues to do so and destroys a statue of a great-great-grandfather—and knocks over the Abbé—in the process. Later, Cosimo tells Baron Arminio that he doesn’t care about the ancestors. Battista... (full context)
Chapter 2
Education, Connectedness, and the Written Word Theme Icon
Coming of Age, Family, and the Individual Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Nature Theme Icon
...that Cosimo is still angry at him. Cosimo looks to the road and when the Abbé passes, he tosses something small at him. The cavalier avvocato disappears, but Cosimo can’t figure... (full context)
Chapter 3
Education, Connectedness, and the Written Word Theme Icon
Coming of Age, Family, and the Individual Theme Icon
The Age of Enlightenment vs. The Romantic Era Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Nature Theme Icon
...dried figs, though Cosimo still acts betrayed. Biagio explains that he had to escape the Abbé to meet Cosimo, and Cosimo announces that he never got down. This confuses Biagio, but... (full context)
Chapter 5
Coming of Age, Family, and the Individual Theme Icon
Virtue, Dignity, and Kindness Theme Icon
...the di Rondò garden several times, which causes Baron Arminio to try to convince the Abbé Fauchelafleur that Cosimo is possessed and needs to be exorcised. The Generalessa peers through a... (full context)
Chapter 7
The Age of Enlightenment vs. The Romantic Era Theme Icon
...to get him after a quarrel over some land. This is why he chose the Abbé Fauchelafleur as the family’s spiritual leader—he’s a Jansenist. The only person Baron Arminio trusts is... (full context)
Chapter 8
Education, Connectedness, and the Written Word Theme Icon
The Age of Enlightenment vs. The Romantic Era Theme Icon
The next day, Baron Arminio sends the Abbé Fauchelafleur to find Cosimo and give him a Latin lesson. An hour later, Cosimo perches... (full context)
Chapter 13
Education, Connectedness, and the Written Word Theme Icon
The Age of Enlightenment vs. The Romantic Era Theme Icon
...Biagio often finds Cosimo with a book, taking notes. Cosimo begins to seek out the Abbé Fauchelafleur with questions and for lessons, but the Abbé often isn’t much use. Instead, Cosimo... (full context)
Education, Connectedness, and the Written Word Theme Icon
The Age of Enlightenment vs. The Romantic Era Theme Icon
The old Abbé vacillates between passive acceptance and a latent passion for spiritual rigor. He absorbs all of... (full context)
Education, Connectedness, and the Written Word Theme Icon
Coming of Age, Family, and the Individual Theme Icon
Virtue, Dignity, and Kindness Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Nature Theme Icon
The Abbé’s arrest doesn’t stop Cosimo’s education. He begins writing to the greatest scientists and philosophers of... (full context)