"The effect of great literary reputation is such that the world is better pleased with anecdotes": First edition of the Historical Memoirs of Voltaire
Historical and Critical Memoirs of the Life and Writing of M. De Voltaire.
Voltaire (Arouet, François-Marie).
Item Number: 81185
London: G. G. J. and J. Robinson, 1786.
First edition of the memoirs of one of the most pivotal figures in the French Enlightenment, interspersed with anecdotes and poetical pieces never before published in English, particularly the Life of the Celebrated J. B. Rousseau. Translated from the French of Dom Chaudon. Octavo, bound in full period calf, rebacked, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, raised bands, gilt tooling to the front and rear panel. In good condition.
One of the most influential thinkers of the French Enlightenment, François-Marie Arouet, known by the nom de plum Voltaire, was a resourceful and prolific writer. His works touched nearly every literary form including plays, poems, novels, theoretical essays, and scientific treatises. A forthright and candid advocate of civil liberties, he frequently criticized the institutions of religious dogma and classism prevalent in 18th century France, often doing so through satire to avoid censorship and imprisonment.