Age of "universal latitude"

Daniel Herold

New Member
Portuguese - Brazil
I've found this expression in the biography of Talleyrand by Duff Cooper, but could not understand the underlying meaning of it:

"...Let it be said also, for fear of falling into panegyric, that in an age of "universal latitude" and easily condoned licence, his conduct incurred severe condemnation, and that he acquired notoriety even before he acquired fame...."

I obviously know what latitude means, but not with this connotative meaning. Can any erudite soul help me here?

The paragraph (Google Books) can be found here.
  • Daniel Herold

    New Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    And Welcome, Daniel Herold!
    Thank you! I apologize in advance, in case I'm posting nonsense, or in the wrong place. I've always followed these forums, but never posted here!

    I think you got me here. I only knew the "geography" acception of the word. That it meant "freedom of action" in English is new to me! The homonym in my language doesn't have this usage.

    So, to know if I've got this right... The author means that EVEN in an era of permissiveness - condoned licence; universal latitude -, even in such an age, his conduct was so outrageous that it incurred severe condemnation for him. Sort of a criticism on Talleyrand so the biographer doesn't sound too eulogistic, panegyric. Is that so?

    Thanks a lot!
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