The Marquis d'Argens

The Marquis d'Argens : A Philosophical Life

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In The Marquis d'Argens: A Philosophical Life Julia Gasper analyzes the life and works of an influential Enlightenment writer and philosopher. The facts of d'Argens' life as well as his works have been a source of controversy due to the many rumors and anonymous publications erroneously linked to him. Through meticulous research, Gasper provides the only comprehensive list of d'Argens' works and separates the realities of his life from the myths that have built up around him. Accused of being a libertine or an unoriginal mimic of greater minds, d'Argens has too often been dismissed as an unimportant figure. Gasper defends this much maligned philosopher and reveals how imaginative and influential he truly more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 157.48 x 228.6 x 25.4mm | 566.99g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 1, 1 black & white halftones
  • 0739182331
  • 9780739182338

Review quote

The Marquis d'Argens: A Philosophical Life is an enthusiastically argued and much-needed contribution to eighteenth-century studies. With this biography, Gasper in effect creates a fresh beginning for scholarship on d'Argens's thought and work. Beyond this important consideration, and because d'Argens' talents, interests, and experiences ranged broadly, the book casts light on several aspects of Enlightenment intellectualism and culture, including the European idea of the East, art criticism, the reception of philosophers from Descartes to the Pre-Socratics, and the world of theatre and opera. D'Argens's story also offers insight into figures such as Voltaire, the Berlin Academicians, and Frederick II, a practical joker, a scholar, and, in the bleakest moments of the Seven Years War, a man very close to committing suicide. And although he died before the moment of the American and French Revolutions, d'Argens may indeed, as Gasper claims, be 'a missing link between the Enlightenment and the Romantic generation' in part because 'while others talked of revolution, he practiced it'. For these reasons, and more, Gasper's book belongs in the hands of readers interested in Continental philosophy and literature of the Long Eighteenth Century. The Eighteenth-Century Intelligencer Gasper's book is a quite solidly crafted and very readable monograph about an author whose life and work indeed deserve greater attention. French History This is by far the best study available on a major but unjustly neglected Enlightenment writer who ought to be as famous for his intellectual contribution as he once was for his wit and amusing storytelling. This book fills a considerable gap in the standard literature on the Enlightenment. -- Jonathan Israel, Institute for Advanced Study An accessible and interesting account of a man who, as Julia Gasper says, situated himself 'at the nerve-centre of the Enlightenment. -- Joanna Innes, University of Oxfordshow more

About Julia Gasper

Julia Gasper has taught for the Stanford University Programme in Oxford, the University of Roehampton, Surrey and St. Bonaventure University, New more

Table of contents

Introduction Chapter 1 Youth 1703-1723 Chapter 2 Travel Broadens the Mind Chapter 3 Paris and Rome 1725-30 Chapter 4 Hero of the Battlefield Chapter 5 The Professional Writer 1735-1740 Chapter 6 The Court of the Best of all Possible Kings Chapter 7 Mid-Life Crisis Chapter 8 1748-56 Battle of the Philosophers Chapter 9 The Seven Years War Chapter 10 The Final Decade Appendix Bibliography Index About the Authorshow more