Persian Letters / Edition 1

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Overview

Based on the 1758 edition, this translation strives for fidelity and retains Montesquieu's paragraphing. George R. Healy's Introduction discusses The Persian Letters as a kind of overture to the Enlightenment, a work of remarkable diversity designed more to explore a problem of great urgency for eighteenth century thought than to resolve it: that of discovering universals, or at least the pragmatic constants, amid the diversity of human culture and society, and of confronting the proposition that there are no values in human relationships except those imposed by force or agreed upon in self-interested conventions.

A novel in the form of letters written to and by two Persian travelors in 18th-century Europe.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
<:st>A translation of the 1758 edition of the French writer's witty, naughty, and negative critique of his society. In addition to one character's irreverent observations on popes and kings, and the expressions of frustration another's wives and eunuchs, however, are essays and allegories exploring the 18th-century urgency to discover universals, or at least pragmatic constants amid the diversity of human cultural and society, and to confront the proposition that all human relationships are based on self-interest. Healy provides a 19- page introduction and footnotes explaining allusions. Paper edition (unseen), $9.95. Cited in . Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872204904
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/1999
  • Series: Hackett Classics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 818,873
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

George R. Healy is Professor Emeritus of History, College of William and Mary.

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