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Literary Collections Letters

Correspondance générale d'Helvétius, Volume I

1737-1756 / Lettres 1-249

by (author) Claude Adrien Helvétius

edited by David Smith, Peter Allan, Alan Dainard & Jean Orsoni

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Dec 1981
Letters, Political, France
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    Publish Date
    Dec 1981
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This volume is the first of three in a complete critical edition of the letters of Claude-Adrien Helvétius (1715-71) and his wife, née Anne Catherine de Liginville (1722-1800).

Though rank and wealth, Helvétius was acquainted with the leading political and social figures of his time, and, through family, with court and government which he occasionally served in a diplomatic capacity. Philosopher and author of the explosive De l'esprit, Helvétius corresponded with the great and the influential throughout Europe. His letters, and those of Mme Helvétius, provide insights into, and new information about, their lives and the political, social, and intellectual history of the eighteenth century.

Volume I contains almost 250 letters written by or to Helvétius or his wife. Of these, the largest collections are those from Helvétius to Mme Helvétius, made available by his descendants, and letters from the future Mmem Helvétius to her aunt, Mme de Graffigny, which are at Yale University. Letters to or from third parties are also included. Much of this correspondence has never before been published.

Correspondance générale d'Helvétius is fascinating to read; it is indispensable for future study of Helvétius' life and work and of Mme Helvétius' influence on her husband his his circle. This volume has a preface by Comte Charles-Antoine d'Andlau, a descendant of Helvétius, and an introduction by the editors setting out their editorial and critical principles and system of annotation. (University of Toronto Romance Series 41)

About the authors

Claude Adrien Helvétius (1715-1771) was a French philosopher, freemason, and littérateur.

Claude Adrien Helvétius' profile page

David Smith, author of the British best-seller Free Lunch, is economics editor of The Sunday Times and an economic adviser to Rupert Murdoch. He is a familiar voice on British radio and television, commentating on economic matters.

David Smith's profile page

Peter Allan is a professor of French at Mount Allison University.

Peter Allan's profile page

Alan Dainard is a professor of French at University of Toronto

Alan Dainard's profile page

Jean Orsoni is a professor of French at the University of Quebec at Trois-Riv�res.

Jean Orsoni's profile page

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