DIDEROT, Denis. Œuvres complètes. Paris, A. Belin, 1818-1819.
7 parts in 7 8vo volumes [207 x 127 mm] of: I/ (1) l., xlv pp., (1) bl.p., 754 pp., 2 folding plates; II/ (2) ll., 736 pp., 1 folding plate; III/ (2) ll., 799 pp.; IV/ (2) ll., 755 pp.; V/ (2) ll., 678 pp.; VI/ (2) ll., 525 pp., (3) pp.; VII/ (2) ll., 367 pp. Bound in contemporary half-Russian leather, flat spines richly decorated, green morocco lettering pieces, yellow edges. Contemporary binding.
Enlarged collective edition of Diderot’s Works, “well executed and much more complete than the edition in 15 volumes.” (Brunet). Brunet, II, 700; Cioranescu, 23992; David Adams, Bibliographie des Œuvres de Denis Diderot, I, A8; Barbier, II, 13124; M. Escoffier, Le Mouvement romantique, n° 378.
“The Belin edition contains a seventh volume, entitled ‘Supplément’. There are three versions of it, one of them dated 1818, the other two 1819. Despite its date, the one of 1819 seems to be the first one that came out.” (D. Adams.)
The supplement contains several original texts: Relation du Voyage de Diderot en Hollande, Salon de 1761, Salon de 1769, 3 dialogs, Mon père et moi, Fragmens politiques and Sur les études en Russie.
“In 1818-1819, M. Belin offers Diderot’s Works in seven volumes including one of supplement that contained new texts (‘Voyage de Hollande’, ‘Le Joueur’, ‘Salon de 1761’, ‘Salon, partiel, de 1769’, des ‘fragments politiques’, letters), the whole presented by Georges Bernard Depping, a German scholar who gives a nice image of the philosopher without forbidding himself to regret his atheism or the scandalous parts of ‘Jacques’, of the ‘Religieuse’, the ‘Bijoux’ or the ‘supplément au voyage de Bougainville’. Francois Benoit Hoffman, a listened and appreciated critic, gives with great interest an account of the edition.” (Diderot, R. Trousson.)
In the note introducing the work, the German historian Depping draws the philosopher’s portrait: “We will be allowed to look at Diderot as one of the greatest thinkers of the 18th century who have the most greatly contributed to destroy in the civilized world the empire of despotism and superstition, and to restore the one of reason.” “He seems to have more thought in his works about pleasure rather than glory. The delicacy, the depths of his ideas, the brio and the strength of his imagination, the magic of his style charm and surprise… We must look at him as one of the most extraordinary men that this century has produced. Born with a burning and easy genius he had all embraced, sciences, arts, letters and philosophy.”
A precious copy of this enlarged edition of Diderot’s Complete works, preserved in its fine bindings in decorated contemporary half-Russian leather.
Rare edition. Our researches have allowed us to locate only 3 copies of this edition in the French Public Institutions: Limoges, Troyes and B.n.F.