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Item 361 - Jean-Jacques Rousseau Catalog 529 (Jun 2018)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Estimate: $5,000.00 +
Sold Price: $8,968.23 (includes buyer's premium)


Important Swiss-French philosopher and writer (1712-1778) who held that the individual is essentially good but usually corrupted by society. Scarce ALS in French, signed “J. J. Rousseau,” one page, 6.75 x 9.5, October 9, 1751. Letter to Madame de Crequy, a well-known writer and the host of a philosophical and literary salon in the 18th century; she was a good friend of both Rousseau and Jean le Rond d'Alembert. In full (translated): "I am proud, Madam, to have a soul that is insensitive to flattery. The letter you have just sent me will teach me that I must have less confidence in myself, and if I have to meet you, it is another reason to be even less confident. I will however obey you, since you are the single person who can domesticate monsters. I will definitely follow your orders, Madam, any day that would be convenient for you. I know that Mr. d'Alembert has the honour of courting you; his presence will not chase me away. But I beg you to consider that the presence of any other people will make me disappear. I am with deepest respect your most humble and most obedient servant." In very good to fine condition, with trimmed edges and scattered light foxing.

A superb letter from the first year of the publication of the Encyclopedie, in which Rousseau reluctantly accepts a meeting with d'Alembert and calls himself a 'monster.' d'Alembert was a co-editor of the Encyclopedie, and Rousseau was a contributor on music and political theory. Rousseau grew close to Madame de Crequy, and frequently dined at her home on the Quai des Quatre Nations, near what is now the Institut de France. A magnificent association piece connecting great figures of the Enlightenment.

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