Persian Letters

Overview


Persian Letters is a classic of European literature by Baron de Montesquieu, the brilliant thinker who had a huge influence on the Enlightenment. Through the astute observations of his two fictional Persian travelers in Europe--Usbek and Rica--Montesquieu asks fundamental questions about human nature, the manners and flirtations of polite society, the structures of power, and the hypocrisy of religion-all in a witty, inventive satire that combines travel literature and the epistolary genre. Indeed, this ...
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Persian Letters

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Overview


Persian Letters is a classic of European literature by Baron de Montesquieu, the brilliant thinker who had a huge influence on the Enlightenment. Through the astute observations of his two fictional Persian travelers in Europe--Usbek and Rica--Montesquieu asks fundamental questions about human nature, the manners and flirtations of polite society, the structures of power, and the hypocrisy of religion-all in a witty, inventive satire that combines travel literature and the epistolary genre. Indeed, this pioneering epistolary novel appeared almost twenty years before Richardson's Pamela. This is the first English translation based on the new, definitive edition of the original French text, revealing this lively work as Montesquieu first intended. The book features an engaging and comprehensive introductory essay, covering a wide range of topics, including the novel's fictional techniques and innovations; travel literature as a genre; historical context and Enlightenment ideas; Orientalism; and other issues. The editor has included full explanatory notes, a useful list of characters, and an invaluable appendix featuring excerpts from Montesquieu's most important sources.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum 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, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192806352
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2008
  • Series: Oxford World's Classics Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 632,125
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Kahn is University Lecturer in Russian at Oxford University.
Margaret Mauldon is the distinguished translator of Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Diderot's Rameau's Nephew, and other works.

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Table of Contents

Select Bibliography

Note on the Chronology of the Persian Letters

A Chronology of Montesquieu

List of Characters

Persian Letters

Preface 3

Letters 4

Supplementary Letters 214

Some Reflections on the Persian Letters 227

Appendix Extracts from Montesquieu's Sources 229

Explanatory Notes 245

Concordance of Letter Numbers 269

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