Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Diderot and the Encyclopædists (Vol 1 of 2)   By: (1838-1923)

Book cover

First Page:

DIDEROT

AND

THE ENCYCLOPÆDISTS

BY JOHN MORLEY

VOL. I.

LONDON

MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED

NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

1905

First published elsewhere

New Edition 1886. Reprinted 1891, 1897, 1905

PREFACE.

The present work closes a series of studies on the literary preparation for the French Revolution. It differs from the companion volumes on Voltaire and Rousseau, in being much more fully descriptive. In the case of those two famous writers, every educated reader knows more or less of their performances. Of Diderot and his circle, such knowledge cannot be taken for granted, and I have therefore thought it best to occupy a considerable space, which I hope that those who do me the honour to read these pages will not find excessive, with what is little more than transcript or analysis. Such a method will at least enable the reader to see what those ideas really were, which the social and economic condition of France on the eve of the convulsion made so welcome to men. The shortcomings of the encyclopædic group are obvious enough. They have lately been emphasised in the ingenious and one sided exaggerations of that brilliant man of letters, Mr. Taine. The social significance and the positive quality of much of their writing is more easily missed, and this side of their work it has been one of my principal objects, alike in the case of Voltaire, of Rousseau, and of Diderot, to bring into the prominence that it deserves in the history of opinion.

The edition of Diderot's works to which the references are made, is that in twenty volumes by the late Mr. Assézat and Mr. Maurice Tourneux. The only other serious book on Diderot with which I am acquainted is Rosenkranz's valuable Diderot's Leben , published in 1866, and abounding in full and patient knowledge. Of the numerous criticisms on Diderot by Raumer, Arndt, Hettner, Damiron, Bersot, and above all by Mr. Carlyle, I need not make more particular mention.

May, 1878.

NOTE.

Since the following pages were printed, an American correspondent writes to me with reference to the dialogue between Franklin and Raynal, mentioned on page 218, Vol. II.: "I have now before me Volume IV. of the American Law Journal , printed at Philadelphia in the year 1813, and at page 458 find in full, 'The Speech of Miss Polly Baker, delivered before a court of judicature in Connecticut , where she was prosecuted.'" Raynal, therefore, would have been right if instead of Massachusetts he had said Connecticut; and either Franklin told an untruth, or else Silas Deane.

September, 1878.

CONTENTS OF VOL. I.

CHAPTER I. PRELIMINARY.

The Church in the middle of the century New phase in the revolt The Encyclopædia, its symbol End of the reaction against the Encyclopædia Diderot's position in the movement

CHAPTER II. YOUTH.

Birth and birthplace (1713) His family Men of letters in Paris Diderot joins their company His life in Paris: his friendly character Stories of his good nature His tolerance for social reprobates His literary struggles Marriage (1743)

CHAPTER III. EARLY WRITINGS.

Diderot's mismanagement of his own talents Apart from this, a great talker rather than a great writer A man of the Socratic type Hack work for the booksellers The Philosophical Thoughts (1746) Shaftesbury's influence Scope of the Philosophical Thoughts On the Sufficiency of Natural Religion (1747) Explanation of the attraction of Natural Religion Police supervision over men of letters Two pictures of the literary hack Seizure of the Sceptic's Walk (1747) Its drift A volume of stories (1748) Diderot's view of the fate and character of women

CHAPTER IV... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books