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Dec 31, 1759
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This volume is the first of three in a complete critical edition of the letters of Claude-Adrien Helvétius (1715-71) and his wife, née Anne Catherine de Liginville (1722-1800).

Though rank and wealth, Helvétius was acquainted with the leading political and social figures of his time, and, through family, with court and government which he occasionally served in a diplomatic capacity. Philosopher and author of the explosive De l'esprit, Helvétius corresponded with the great and the influential throughout Europe. His letters, and those of Mme Helvétius, provide insights into, and new information about, their lives and the political, social, and intellectual history of the eighteenth century.

Volume I contains almost 250 letters written by or to Helvétius or his wife. Of these, the largest collections are those from Helvétius to Mme Helvétius, made available by his descendants, and letters from the future Mmem Helvétius to her aunt, Mme de Graffigny, which are at Yale University. Letters to or from third parties are also included. Much of this correspondence has never before been published.

Correspondance générale d'Helvétius is fascinating to read; it is indispensable for future study of Helvétius' life and work and of Mme Helvétius' influence on her husband his his circle. This volume has a preface by Comte Charles-Antoine d'Andlau, a descendant of Helvétius, and an introduction by the editors setting out their editorial and critical principles and system of annotation. (University of Toronto Romance Series 41)

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