Item #247 Émile ou de l’Éducation…. Jean Jacques ROUSSEAU.
Émile ou de l’Éducation…
First Edition (12mo) of Rousseau’s Émile
Amsterdam, Jean Néaulme [i.e., Paris, Duchesne], 1762.

Émile ou de l’Éducation….

4 volumes in 12mo [16.4 x 9.6 cm], Vol. 1, viii pp., (1) f., 466 pp., with (2) engravings; Vol. 2, (2) ff., 407 pp., with (1) engraving; Vol. 3, (2) ff., 384 pp., with (1) engraving; Vol. 4, (2) ff., 455 pp., with (1) engraving. Vol. 1 without half-title, vol. 4 without privilege and errata. Bound uniformly in contemporary full mottled calf, marbled endpapers, red edges. Rubbing and edge wear to spines and boards, joints of vols. 1 and 2 cracked. First engraving of vol. 1 backed, small tears in blank margin of engraved frontispieces to first three volumes (not affecting image). Contents generally clean.

First edition (12mo) of Rousseau’s classic treatise on education, illustrated with 5 full-page engravings. Émile provides Rousseau’s most widely read statement on the essential goodness of human nature, tracing the natural development of a child brought up in the country in accordance with nature and free from the corrupting influence of society. Because of a controversial section of the book (“Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar”) Émile was banned in Paris and Geneva and was publicly burned in 1762, the year of its first publication. During the French Revolution, Émile served as the inspiration for what became a new national system of education.

The printing history of the first edition of Émile is notoriously complex. The first edition was printed in 8vo (1A) and 12mo (1B) formats from the same type in the same year. McEachern suggests that parts of the 12mo edition may have gone through the press first but that the 8vo edition was distributed first. McEachern admits: “the question of the order of printing has not yet been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.”

* J.A.E. McEachern, Bibliography of the Writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau to 1800, 1b, and Bulletin du Bibliophile, 1987, pp. 20-30.

Price: $2,800.00

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