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Education in Voltaire's France

MARTIN, Grégoire.
Lettres instructives et curieuses sur l'éducation de la jeunesse. ...
[Grenoble, for the author], 1760. 12mo. Contemporary gold-tooled red morocco richly gold-tooled spine, ornamental borders on sides, gold-tooled turn-ins, gilt edges. XXIII, [1 blank], 253, [5] pp.
€ 1,600
Rare essay on education, written in the form of letters and intended for fathers and private tutors of bourgeois families. In twenty-four letters, the book offers advice to pedagogues, as well as the lessons to give and the books to use with their pupils. Martin (1712-1770?), identified only by his initials, was a Catholic priest and former lecturer at the Académie in Auxerre. He recommends not only classical authors, including Aristotle, Cicero, Ovid, and Virgil, and fable-writers, including Phaedrus and La Fontaine, but also many modern authors, artists and scientists, including Arias Montanus, Le Clerc, Descartes, Hugo Grotius, Athanasius Kircher, Montesquieu and Voltaire. It also cites authors on education, including Crousaz, Erasmus and Formy. An extensive index at the beginning of the book lists all authors discussed in the letters. Its notable that a priest recommends Voltaire, who had been living in Geneva and on the Swiss border since Louis XV banned him from Paris in 1754, and who had published his notorious Candide in 1759, banned as blasphemous and seditious.
With the author's name written on the title-page. Binding lightly scratched at the back. With a tear in the outer margin of pp. 163-164; a very good copy. Quérard, col. 1278; not in Buisson, Nouv. dict. de pédagogie; Cioranescu.
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