Before the Enlightenment, and before the imperialism of the later eighteenth century, how did European readers find out about the varied cultures of Asia? Orientalism in Louis XIV's France presents a history of Oriental studies in seventeenth-century France, revealing the prominence within the intellectual culture of the period that was given to studies of Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Chinese texts, as well as writings on Mughal India. The Orientalist writers studied here produced books that would become sources used throughout the eighteenth century. Nicholas Dew places these scholars in their own context as members of the "republic of letters" in the age of the scientific revolution and the early Enlightenment.
About the Author
Nicholas Dew is Assistant Professor of History at McGill University, in Montreal. He is the co-editor, with James Delbourgo, of Science and Empire in the Atlantic World (Routledge, 2008).
Table of Contents
Introduction: Baroque Orientalism
1. Barthélemy d'Herbelot and the place of Oriental learning
2. 'Toutes les curiosités du monde': the geographic projects of Melchisédech Thévenot
3. The double eclipse: François Bernier's geography of knowledge
4. The making of d'Herbelot's Bibliothèque orientale
5. Printing Confucius in Paris