Wicked Company: Freethinkers and Friendship in Pre-Revolutionary Paris

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9781780220109: Wicked Company: Freethinkers and Friendship in Pre-Revolutionary Paris
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Dazzling recreation of the world of radical free-thinkers in 18th-century France From the 1750s to the 1770s, the Paris salon of Baron d'Holbach was an epicenter of debate, intellectual daring and revolutionary ideas, uniting around one table vivid personalities from Denis Diderot, Adam Smith, Benjamin Franklin, the radical ex-priest Guillaume Raynal, the Italian Count Beccaria and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who later turned against his friends. It was a moment of astonishing racicalism in European thought, so uncompromising and bold that it was viciously opposed by rival philosophers such as Voltaire and the turncoat Rousseau, and finally suppressed by Robespierre and his Revolutionary henchmen. In Wicked Company, acclaimed historian Philipp Blom retraces the fortunes and characters of this exceptional group of friends and brings to life their startling ideas, largely forgotten by historians. Brilliant minds full of wit, courage and humanity, their thinking created a different and radical French Enlightenment based on atheism, passion, empathy and a compellingly insightful perspective on society. Their ideas force us to confront the debates about our own society and its future with new eyes.

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About the Author:

Philipp Blom was born in Hamburg and trained as an historian in Vienna and Oxford. He is the author of TO HAVE AND TO HOLD a history of collectors and collecting and ENCYCLOPEDIA. He writes regularly for journals and newspapers in Europe and the United States. He lives in Vienna. Visit Philipp Blom's website at www.philipp-blom.eu.

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Blom succeeds in conveying a lot of detailed information about the philosophes' friendships and amorous adventures to the general reader in engaging and readily accessible prose. -- Ruth Scurr * LITERARY REVIEW * A remarkable group of men populate the pages of Philipp Blom's quirky and original book. -- Jonathan Sumption * THE SPECTATOR * (An) engaging portrait -- David Auberach * TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT * Blom skilfully weaves his story around a large cast of characters...(and) teases out the nuances of the group's ideas with considerable finesse. -- Suzi Feay * INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY * 'Blom is such a stylish and clever writer: his prose is as lucid and elegant as any of his 18th-century heroes...Blom's book is not only a pleasure to read but also a celebration of the real and material joys to be found in the godless universe" -- Andrew Hussey * FINANCIAL TIMES * Blom's passionate enthusiasm for ideas and his immersive knowledge has created a crash course in the great debates of a distant era but he leaves us in no doubt that the arguments of the 18th century have yet to be resolved -- Ben Felsenburg * METRO * Mr Blom's book is part biography and part polemic. He sketches the early lives of Diderot, Holbach, Rousseau and other players in the drama, and describes the philosophy they hammered out. It is also an iconoclastic rebuttal of what he describes as the "official" history of the Enlightenment. * THE ECONOMIST *

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Book Description Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Dazzling recreation of the world of radical free-thinkers in 18th-century FranceFrom the 1750s to the 1770s, the Paris salon of Baron d'Holbach was an epicenter of debate, intellectual daring and revolutionary ideas, uniting around one table vivid personalities from Denis Diderot, Adam Smith, Benjamin Franklin, the radical ex-priest Guillaume Raynal, the Italian Count Beccaria and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who later turned against his friends.It was a moment of astonishing racicalism in European thought, so uncompromising and bold that it was viciously opposed by rival philosophers such as Voltaire and the turncoat Rousseau, and finally suppressed by Robespierre and his Revolutionary henchmen. In Wicked Company, acclaimed historian Philipp Blom retraces the fortunes and characters of this exceptional group of friends and brings to life their startling ideas, largely forgotten by historians. Brilliant minds full of wit, courage and humanity, their thinking created a different and radical French Enlightenment based on atheism, passion, empathy and a compellingly insightful perspective on society. Their ideas force us to confront the debates about our own society and its future with new eyes. Seller Inventory # HUK9781780220109

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Book Description Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Dazzling recreation of the world of radical free-thinkers in 18th-century FranceFrom the 1750s to the 1770s, the Paris salon of Baron d'Holbach was an epicenter of debate, intellectual daring and revolutionary ideas, uniting around one table vivid personalities from Denis Diderot, Adam Smith, Benjamin Franklin, the radical ex-priest Guillaume Raynal, the Italian Count Beccaria and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who later turned against his friends.It was a moment of astonishing racicalism in European thought, so uncompromising and bold that it was viciously opposed by rival philosophers such as Voltaire and the turncoat Rousseau, and finally suppressed by Robespierre and his Revolutionary henchmen. In Wicked Company, acclaimed historian Philipp Blom retraces the fortunes and characters of this exceptional group of friends and brings to life their startling ideas, largely forgotten by historians. Brilliant minds full of wit, courage and humanity, their thinking created a different and radical French Enlightenment based on atheism, passion, empathy and a compellingly insightful perspective on society. Their ideas force us to confront the debates about our own society and its future with new eyes. Seller Inventory # HUK9781780220109

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Book Description Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Dazzling recreation of the world of radical free-thinkers in 18th-century FranceFrom the 1750s to the 1770s, the Paris salon of Baron d'Holbach was an epicenter of debate, intellectual daring and revolutionary ideas, uniting around one table vivid personalities from Denis Diderot, Adam Smith, Benjamin Franklin, the radical ex-priest Guillaume Raynal, the Italian Count Beccaria and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who later turned against his friends.It was a moment of astonishing racicalism in European thought, so uncompromising and bold that it was viciously opposed by rival philosophers such as Voltaire and the turncoat Rousseau, and finally suppressed by Robespierre and his Revolutionary henchmen. In Wicked Company, acclaimed historian Philipp Blom retraces the fortunes and characters of this exceptional group of friends and brings to life their startling ideas, largely forgotten by historians. Brilliant minds full of wit, courage and humanity, their thinking created a different and radical French Enlightenment based on atheism, passion, empathy and a compellingly insightful perspective on society. Their ideas force us to confront the debates about our own society and its future with new eyes. Seller Inventory # HUK9781780220109

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Not Signed; Dazzling recreation of the world of radical free-thinkers in 18th-century FranceFrom the 1750s to the 1770s, the Paris salon of Baron d'Holbach was an epicenter of debate, intellectual daring and revolutionary ideas, uniting around one table vivid personalities from Denis Diderot, Adam Smith, Benjam. book. Seller Inventory # ria9781780220109_rkm

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