Diderot Encyclopedia: The Complete Illustrations 1762-1777 [5-volume set, in slipcase]


(quarter-bound navy faux leather over light blue cloth, gilt spine lettering and decorations, no dust jackets as issued; slipcase is light-blue cloth (matching books) with blue side ribbon) [books are uniformly Fine, apparently unread; slipcase shows just a touch of external soiling]. (3115 numbered plates) Elegantly-produced, small-format facsimile reproduction of the illustrations from the famous Encyclopedia, an insanely ambitious attempt by its editor, Denis Diderot, to assemble all the world's knowledge in a single publication. The complete Encyclopedia originally comprised 28 folio volumes, published intermittently in France between 1751 and 1772; throughout its protracted history, it was a controversial project, subjected to attempted suppression by the French authorities (which is to say the monarchy and the clergy), because, you know, nothing threatens the ruling class quite so much as the prospect of an educated and informed public -- so the mere idea that all this information (scientific, social, political, religious, technological, economic, philosophical, etc.) might be gathered together and made available to just ANYBODY was literally intolerable to them. There are excellent Wikipedia summaries of the long and arduous process of writing, printing, and distributing the Encylopedia (the main article is under "Encyclopédie," its French title), which I will not attempt to summarize here, except to note that (among its other claims to historical influence) it laid much of the intellectual groundwork for the French Revolution. As the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica put it: "No encyclopaedia perhaps has been of such political importance, or has occupied so conspicuous a place in the civil and literary history of its century. It sought not only to give information, but to guide opinion." This particular set reproduces all the engraved plates (over half of which were executed by Robert Bénard) that were separately published in eleven volumes between 1762 and 1772. ***NOTE: Additional shipping charges for this heavy book will apply for non-U.S. customers; please inquire before placing your order.***

Title: Diderot Encyclopedia: The Complete Illustrations 1762-1777 [5-volume set, in slipcase]

Author: (Diderot, Denis) (introductions by Jacques Payen and Roger Lewinter)

Categories: *NEW ARRIVALS,

Edition: First Edition Thus

Publisher: New York, Harry N. Abrams, Inc.: 1978

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Fine

Seller ID: 24186

Keywords: Reference Illustrated History