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Biography & Autobiography Philosophers

Correspondance g�n�rale d'Helv�tius

1774-1800 / Lettres 721-855

edited by Peter Allan, Alan Dainard, Marie-Thérèse Inguenaud, Jean Orsoni & David Smith

University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Initial publish date
May 1998
Philosophers, Criticism, France
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    Publish Date
    May 1998
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This is the fourth of five volumes of the letters of the French philosopher Claude Adrien HelvTtius (1715-1771), author of the controversial De l'Esprit (1758). Featuring the correspondence of Mme HelvTtius, nTe Anne Catherine de Ligniville (1722-1800), in the years following her husband's death, this volume also includes letters by and to HelvTtius discovered since the publication of the first three volumes.

Mme HelvTtius enjoyed an active widowhood, welcoming to her salon in Auteuil a group of intellectuals who came to be known as the IdTologues. A close friend of Benjamin Franklin, she was involved in political events before and during the French Revolution, as well as in Napoleon's coup d'Ttat. In the last letter of the series her grandson describes her burial in her garden, which took place without religious or revolutionary ceremony in the presence of all her favourite pets.

Most of the newly discovered letters are addressed to HelvTtius by figures as important as d'Alembert, Boulanger, Chastellux, Saint-Lambert, Servan, Thieriot, and Trublet. Some of these complete an existing exchange, others provide dates for letters already published.

The fifth and final volume will be devoted primarily to a comprehensive index. It will also include a chronological list of all the letters, corrections and modifications, and other useful material.

About the authors

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

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Alan Dainard is a professor of French at University of Toronto

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Marie-Thérèse Inguenaud is a professor of French at the University of Paris VII

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

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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.

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