Persian Letters

Persian Letters

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by Montesquieu
     
 

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'Oh! Monsieur is Persian? That's most extraordinary! How can someone be Persian?' Two Persian travellers, Usbek and Rica, arrive in Paris just before the death of Louis XIV and in time to witness the hedonism and financial crash of the Regency. In their letters home they report on visits to the theatre and scientific societies, and observe the manners and

Overview

'Oh! Monsieur is Persian? That's most extraordinary! How can someone be Persian?' Two Persian travellers, Usbek and Rica, arrive in Paris just before the death of Louis XIV and in time to witness the hedonism and financial crash of the Regency. In their letters home they report on visits to the theatre and scientific societies, and observe the manners and flirtations of polite society, the structures of power and the hypocrisy of religion. Irony and bitter satire mark their comparison of East and West and their quest for understanding. Unsettling news from Persia concerning the female world of the harem intrudes on their new identities and provides a suspenseful plot of erotic jealousy and passion. This pioneering epistolary novel and work of travel-writing opened the world of the West to its oriental visitors and the Orient to its Western readers. This is the first English translation based on the original text, revealing this lively work as Montesquieu first intended. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780191604881
Publisher:
OUP Oxford
Publication date:
04/17/2008
Series:
Oxford World's Classics Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,111,856
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

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

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