LOT 394
SOLD €260,00

Claude-Adrien Helvetius. Convolute of 7 titles: (1) De l'Esprit

Paris, Durand, 1758, (2 lvs), XXII, 643,(1) p., contemp. marbled calf, gilt and ribbed spine w. mor. letterpiece, gilt inside dentelles, marbles edges, 4to.

On the attractively bound convolute: occas. sl. browned and a few quires waterst. in upper margin. Upper hinge splitting, spine-ends and outer corners worn. On the main work: Tchémerzine VI, p. 188; D.W. Smith, The publication of Helvetius's De l'Esprit (French Studies, vol. XVIII, Oct. 1964, no. 4): Issue B; Schumpeter, p. 130: "The book, one of the continental forerunners of English utilitarianism, enjoyed a sweeping succes."; Mme du Deffaud: "That man has told everybody's secret"; Peignot, p. 176-177: "Première édition de cet ouvrage célèbre, censuré par la Sorbonne comme contenant "tous les poisons épars dans les différents livres modernes, c'est-á-dire contemporains. (...). Dans beaucoup d'exemplaires on trouve à la suite les pièces du procès". Indeed, this copy is bound with 6 others: an anonymously published letter by Helvetius and 5 official pieces condemning the book and its original privelege and approbation. The work was intended to rival Montesquieu's l'Esprit des Lois. It attracted immediate attention upon publication and aroused strong opposition, helping it's popularity. It was translated in almost every European language. (total 7 titles in 1 vol.)

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