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Item   Title MB Now at Next bid Bids New bid Max bid  
649   Jean-Jacques Rousseau  $1000 $1909 $2100 7 You must login to place a bid.

#649 - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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Rare letter to the Enlightenment saloniste, his unrequited love

Important Swiss-French philosopher and writer (1712–1778) who held that the individual is essentially good but usually corrupted by society. ALS in French, signed “Rousseau,” one page, 6.25 x 8.25, March 30, no year but circa 1759. Letter to Louise-Marie-Madeleine Dupin. In part (translated): “I thank you, Madam, with all my heart for your kindness and for having remembered me. Even without knowing what the case is about, I am anxious to learn what may be the outcome. In order to avoid any inconvenience to your domestics, you could send me a written note if you want to ease my anxiety. Concerning the text which I ask you to be so kind to remember, if it can amuse you in a quarter of an hour of boredom, it will be better employed than I would have hoped. While reminding you of a respectable and noble man who admired you, I hope that this said text may also make you remember another man, inferior to him in every regard except for the respect and the sentiments he has for you.” Addressed on the reverse of the second integral page in Rousseau’s hand. In fine condition, with intersecting folds.

Using both her husband’s wealth and her own social talents, Madame Dupin established an influential and well-esteemed literary salon that hosted the greats of the Enlightenment such as Voltaire, Montesquieu, and Buffon. Rosseau later wrote that he fell in love with Madame Dupin as soon as he saw her, proclaiming her the most beautiful woman in Paris. His attempt to explain these feelings breached social etiquette—particularly given their disparity in class—but Dupin and her husband were merely flattered and Rosseau learned to suppress his desires. In the early 1740s she hired Rousseau as a secretary and tutor to her son, a position in which he served for six years. As seen in this letter from years later, Rousseau held Madame Dupin in high regard and was grateful for her friendship and interest in his writing. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

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