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Voltaire - Essai sur les moeurs et l'esprit des nations ; et sur les Principaux Faits de l'Histoire - 1773

Voltaire - Essay on the mores and the spirit of nations, and on the main facts of history, from Charlemagne to Louis XIII - New edition, conforming to the edition in-4 of Geneva - complete in 8 volumes - in Neuchatel, 1773 - more than 400 pages per volume - full marbled sheepskin of the time - in-8 - 10 x 17 cm.

Condition: 3 leveled crowns, 3 missing crowns, 6 split joints but solid hinges, some dented corners, smooth spine adorned with gilt fleurons and title and volume number pieces (1 lack of leather on the bottom of two spines), some foxing and browning, mottled edges. Complete in 8 volumes volumes 12 to 19 of the works of Voltaire.

The work is much more than a history of the world since Charlemagne. We also know that all the editions of the Second Empire until today have been purged of the ideas defended by Voltaire and contrary to the image of the author built by modernity. One of the central theses is the perversity of the Christian religion, and more particularly the Catholic religion, whose teaching is manifestly erroneous. The races according to Voltaire could not result from a single source, they are too heterogeneous. The essay on mores indeed contains all the theses of racism and anti-Semitism which will flourish in the 20th century and Voltaire shows himself not only mysoginist but also anti-Semitic and xenophobic. But this work is important for Voltaire who will not stop working on it for fifteen years, and if he shows himself in favor of an enlightened despotism, this choice is carefully considered. Voltaire's work is very important, because it shows the paradoxes of a man in love with justice (The Treatise on Tolerance), a man of the Enlightenment, but himself agitated by the prejudices of his time. The first volume begins with a study of the Chinese, then the Arabs, with long chapters on Muhammad and Islam. “It is difficult to measure what history owes to the Essay on Morals. The presence of Voltaire in the historiographical evolution is certain. His influence is more difficult to circumscribe; it varies according to generations and according to schools” (L. Trenard).

Apart from the defects reported, copy in good condition.

Object Book
Number of Books 8
Subject History, Literature
Author/ Illustrator Voltaire
Book Title Essai sur les moeurs et l'esprit des nations ; et sur les Principaux Faits de l'Histoire
Condition Good
Publication year oldest item 1773
Edition Reprint
Language French
Original language Yes
Binding/ Material Leather
Number of pages 3200
Dimensions 17×10 cm
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