On Mon, 6 Aug 2018 18:48:43 +0000, Shorten, Jay <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>Have I interpreted the rules correctly in thinking that the RDA form of nr2002006081 ARN 5701685 Pourtale�s, Albert, �c Count de, �d 1812-1861 is Pourtale�s, Albert, �c Graf von, �d 1812-1861 based on 188.8.131.52, �Follow the personal name with the term of rank in the language in which it was conferred� and the title was given by the Prussian king Frederick the Great? I suppose in theory the title could be �Comte� if the title was granted in French, but Neue Deutsche Biographie uses �Graf�.
I believe you are correct, though it's slightly more complicated than that. Albert von Pourtalès was a Prussian diplomat. He happens to have been born in Paris and died there, but his family were Huguenots who had fled France in the 18th century. They were based in Neuchâtel, which is in the Francophone part of Switzerland, but at the time it belonged to Prussia. Frederick the Great ennobled the family in 1750, but that just gave them the right to use "von," not a title of nobility.
The title of count (Graf in German) came later. It was conferred on Albert's father and his father's two brothers by another Prussian king, Friedrich Wilhelm III, in 1814. Just before then, for a few years, Neuchâtel had in fact been a French principality, having been ceded to France during the Napoleonic Wars; Prussia reacquired it after the first Peace of Paris in May 1814.
It was presumably in this context that Albert's father (as the NDB also tells us) had been made a French count (comte) five years before he became a Prussian count. However, I don't see any evidence that the son used this title.
As an aside, since the equivalent of "count" in the English peerage is "earl," "count" wouldn't really be an appropriate addition to a name under any circumstances, would it? (Assuming it's a legitimately acquired term of rank, not a nickname as in William James "Count" Basie.) I get why it is in this older heading, though; the work cited in the first 670 is "On the western tour with Washington Irving," and the usage there is "Count de Portalès."
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