By Robert Darnton
A superb ebook approximately an excellent better e-book is an extraordinary occasion in publishing. Darnton's historical past of the Encyclop?die is such an get together. the writer explores a few interesting territory within the French style of histoire du livre, and even as he tracks the diffusion of Enlightenment principles. he's desirous about the shape of the concept of the nice philosophes because it materialized into books and with the way in which books have been made and disbursed within the company of publishing. this is often cultural background on a extensive scale, a heritage of the method of civilization. In tracing the publishing tale of Diderot's Encyclop?die, Darnton makes use of new sources--the papers of eighteenth-century publishers--that enable him to reply firmly to a collection of difficulties lengthy vexing historians. He indicates how the fabric foundation of literature and the know-how of its creation affected the substance and diffusion of rules. He totally explores the workings of the literary industry position, together with the jobs of publishers, publication purchasers, touring salesmen, and different intermediaries in cultural verbal exchange. How publishing functioned as a enterprise, and the way it healthy into the political in addition to the commercial platforms of prerevolutionary Europe are set forth. The making of books touched in this colossal variety of actions simply because books have been items of artisanal hard work, gadgets of financial trade, cars of rules, and parts in political and spiritual clash. The methods principles traveled in early sleek Europe, the extent of penetration of Enlightenment principles within the society of the previous Regime, and the connections among the Enlightenment and the French Revolution are brilliantly taken care of by way of Darnton. In doing so he finds a double paradox. It was once the higher orders in society instead of the economic bourgeoisie or the reduce sessions that first shook off archaic ideals and took up Enlightenment principles. And the nation, which firstly had suppressed these principles, eventually got here to want them. but at this excessive aspect within the diffusion and legitimation of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution erupted, destroying the social and political order within which the Enlightenment had flourished. by no means back will the contours of the Enlightenment be drawn regardless of this paintings. Darnton has written an essential e-book for historians of contemporary Europe.
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Additional info for The Business of Enlightenment: Publishing History of the ''Encyclopedie'', 1775-1800
28. See the text of the contract printed in Lough, Essays, p. 67. 29. STN to Marechal of ~Ietz, Aug. 22, 1779. 29 The Business of Enlightenment plates to his contract of December 16, 1768, with Le Breton, David, and Briasson. " The register of the Parisian booksellers' guild for 1776 contains a privilege under Panckoucke's name for a work with precisely this title, and a similar privilege appears in the first edition of tIle EncyclolJedie-not in volumes 1-7 of the text, which carry the privilege that was revoked in 1759, but in volume 6 of the plates, which appeared in 1768, when Panckoucke bought the rights to the book from Le Breton and his associates.
The Luneau nlaterial contains the names of about seventy-five subscribers. Most of them were noblemen, including several eminent courtiers-the Vicomte de Noailles, the Marechal de :~louchy, the Due de la Valliereand several magistrates of the parlements and bailliages. The rest came mainly from the law, the clergy, and the upper echelons of the royal administration. 2 Of course those few names, bandied about in the polemics of a la,vsuit, hardly constitute a representative sample of all 4,000 subscribers.
Circular froln Pierre Gosse and Daniel Pinet of The Hague, dated Aug. 2, 1769, and sent to the STN. In a letter to Marc-Michel Hey of Oct. 26, 1770, Panckoucke iildicated that Gosse's version of his activities was not far from the 25 The Business of Enlightenment Of course perfection for Felice also meant cutting philosophie and, furthermore, substituting Protestantism for Catholicism in the articles that had won the blessings of the French censors-a tactic that vvas designed to please the authorities in Bern but not those in Versailles.