Trim: 6⅜ x 9¼
978-0-7391-8233-8 • Hardback • December 2013 • $142.00 • (£109.00)
978-0-7391-8234-5 • eBook • December 2013 • $128.00 • (£98.00)
Julia Gasper has taught for the Stanford University Programme in Oxford, the University of Roehampton, Surrey and St. Bonaventure University, New York.
Chapter 1Youth 1703–1723
Chapter 2Travel Broadens the Mind
Chapter 3Paris and Rome 1725–30
Chapter 4Hero of the Battlefield
Chapter 5The Professional Writer 1735–1740
Chapter 6The Court of the Best of all Possible Kings
Chapter 7Mid-Life Crisis
Chapter 81748–56 Battle of the Philosophers
Chapter 9The Seven Years War
Chapter 10The Final Decade
About the Author
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 Oxford