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The 7500-page works of one of the most creative and influential minds of the Enlightenment

Oeuvres de Denis Diderot, publiées, sur les manuscrits de l'auteur, par Jacques-André Naigeon, de l'Institut National des Sciences, etc. Tome premier[-quinzième].
Paris, Desray, Deterville (back of half-title, vol. I: printed by [Charles] Crapelet), an VI [=] 1798. 15 volumes. 8vo. With a frontispiece portrait of the author engraved by Charles Étienne Gaucher after a 1766 drawing by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 16 engraved plates and a folding letterpress table of all kinds of human knowledge for the Encyclopédie (52 x 37.5 cm). Contemporary, uniform half sprinkled calf, richly gold-tooled spines. [in total about 7500 pp.].
€ 6,500
First edition of the works of Denis Diderot (1713-1784), published fourteen years after his death. Diderot, one of the widest ranging and most creative minds of the Enlightenment, is best known as the motive force behind and author of many articles in his 28-volume Encyclopédie (1764-1772), which occupied him for more than twenty years, but he published works on a wide range of subjects before and after the Encyclopédie. The present 15 volumes, published from Diderot's manuscripts (including correspondence) and totalling about 7500 pages, therefore covers plays, novels and poetry as well as essays on philosophy, mathematics (including music), literature, art and religion, and includes correspondence with numerous men and women, including Voltaire. Although his Encyclopédie articles are not included, many were based on or carried further in publications included here, and 220 pages of vol. III are devoted to the Encyclopédia. Diderot's Encyclopédie, though enormously influential, left him in financial straits. The French government banned it and the French establishment shunned him as a radical, but from 1773 to his death he worked under the patronage of Catharine the Great of Russia, who bought his library and paid him to oversee it in Paris, giving him the freedom to pursue his literary and scholarly interests.
In very good condition, with only some minor foxing, an occasional quire very slightly browned and an occasional minor marginal defect. With a small hole in the spine of one volume, but the bindings are otherwise also very good. Adams, Bibliographie des oeuvres de Denis Diderot A6 (pp. 98-109); CCfr 3 copies); Diderot, Contes (1963), item 12 (p. 206); Johansson, Études de Denis Diderot (1927), p. 197 (cf. p. 30).
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