Histoire philosophique et politique des établissements et du commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes

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Author: Raynal, Guillaume Thomas (1713-1796)

Year: 1780

Publisher: Jean Leonard Pellet

Place: Geneva


4 volumes and atlas: xvi+741+[1 errata]pages with two plates including frontispiece; [iv]-viii+485+[1 errata]pages with one plate; xv+[i blank]+629+[1 errata] pages with one plate; [iv]-viii+770+[1 errata]+[1 blank]pages with one plate, half-titles present and an atlas [iv]+28, with 50 maps and 23 tables, half-title inlaid by binder. Quarto (10 1/2" x 8 1/4") bound in full leather with gilt inlay at cover edges and gilt lettering against red labels to spine. Spine ends in gilt. [Sabin 68018] Third edition.

Published first in 1770 in six volumes, the Historie was revised in 1774, and again, with extensive revisions, in 1780. Diderot made a large number of contributions, all of which were anonymous. His main involvement was with the third edition, for which he wrote nearly a fifth of the text. It has only been during the last thirty years, with the discovery of the collection of Diderot�s manuscripts known as the Fonds Vandeul, that it has become possible to identify these contributions. The work was a history of European colonization from its beginnings in the East Indies and West Indies. It combined historical and anthropological information, and attacks on slavery, with a firm belief in the benefits of commerce, �this new soul of the moral world�. In the Salon de 1769 Diderot wrote that everyone was becoming �preoccupied with administration, commerce, agriculture, imports, exports and finance...The Abb� Raynal can boast of having been the hero of this change�. Raynal�s work was one of the most frequently reprinted books in the years immediately preceding the French revolution, and Raynal himself was invited to be a member of the Constituent Assembly in 1789. According to Furbank, the History of the Two Indies had almost the same importance for the philosophique movement as the Encyclop�die itself. Its original purpose had been to recommend a more rational colonial policy for France. However, the overall effect of Diderot�s contributions to the third edition transformed the work from one which advanced colonialism to one which suggested that colonialism was a crime.


Hinges and spine ends professionally repaired. Covers scuffed with some gouges else a very nice set.

SOLD 2013

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