Vauban was always
very close to the people, to the peasants.
He spent his
childhood in the Morvan as a rather poor country boy, playing
with the children of the village.
Because he travelled
all over the kingdom, Vauban had quite a good grasp of humble
matters which he describes in several writings such as the
Geographical description of the Vézelay district or in Pig
matters - in which he tries to estimate how many pigs can be
descendant of one sow in 10 years time.
In these writings,
Vauban emphasizes the economic problems of his times, the
peasants' hard conditions of living and he also suggests
solutions which are always backed up with detailed statistics.
Louvois, Minister of
war, was the go-between, who talked to the King on behalf of the
Vauban did not have a
political role although in some of his writings he put forward
suggestions to reinforce the King's authority and improve the
functioning of the state, e.g. the court and the King's
counsellors should not be chosen according to their birth, but
according to their knowledge and their abilities.
Vauban denounced the
power of women at the court who used their charms to obtain
favours that were often unjustified.
He was far from being
a courtier, yet he was a loyal servant of the kingdom of France
and the King.