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Catherine the Great's enlightened ideas on education, edited by Diderot

BETZKY (BETSKOI), Ivan Ivanovitch.
Les plans et les statuts, des différents établissements ordonnés par sa Majésté Impériale Catherine II. pour l'education de la jeunesse, et l'utilité générale de son Empire.
Amsterdam, Marc-Michel Rey, 1775. 2 volumes bound as 1. 4to. With 2 engraved allegorical frontispieces, engraved allegorical plate, 3 large folding engraved plans, 4 folding tables, and 64 large engraved head-pieces, tail-pieces and allegorical engravings in text, including the coat of arms, medal and seal of Catherine the Great of Russia. Contemporary tree calf, rebacked with gold-tooled spine.
€ 3,000
First edition in French of a collection of texts concerning education by the Russian school reformer Ivan Ivanovitch Betzky (1704-1795), several commissioned by Catherine the Great, who was rumoured to be his biological daughter. The publication was translated from the Russian by Leclerc and edited by the famous French encyclopaedist Diderot during a stay in The Hague.
Betzky served as advisor on education to Catherine the Great, who followed his Enlightenment-inspired ideas. One of his most successful achievements was the foundation of the Smolny Institute, the first female educational institution in Russia and one of the first in Europe, which would become a training ground for Rousseau's ideas on education.
Reddish brown stains on half-title, frontispiece and title-page and a water stain in the last few leaves. Good copy. Binding rebacked and with a few other restorations, but still in good condition.
Cioranecu 38333; V. Gestel-Van het Schip 14; Mortier & Mat, Diderot et son temps 196 note; STCN (4 copies).
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Book history, education, learning & printing  >  Dictionaries & Textbooks
Europe  >  Russia