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Selected Philosophical and Scientific Writings

Edited and with an Introduction by Judith P. Zinsser  Translated by Isabelle Bour and Judith P. Zinsser

Though most historians remember her as the mistress of Voltaire, Emilie Du Châtelet (1706–49) was an accomplished writer in her own right, who published multiple editions of her scientific writings during her lifetime, as well as a translation of Newton’s Principia Mathematica that is still the standard edition of that work in French. Had she been a man, her reputation as a member of the eighteenth-century French intellectual elite would have been assured.

In the 1970s, feminist historians of science began the slow work of recovering Du Châtelet’s writings and her contributions to history and philosophy. For this edition, Judith P. Zinsser has selected key sections from Du Châtelet’s published and unpublished works, as well as related correspondence, part of her little-known critique of the Old and New Testaments, and a treatise on happiness that is a refreshingly uncensored piece of autobiography—making all of them available for the first time in English. The resulting volume will recover Châtelet’s place in the pantheon of French letters and culture. 

456 pages | 15 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 2009

The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe

History: European History

History of Science

Literature and Literary Criticism: Romance Languages

Women's Studies

Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Introduction

Volume Editors’ Introduction

Volume Editors’ Bibliography

I Bernard Mandeville’s The Fable of the Bees

Volume Editors’ Introduction

Related Letters

Translator’s Preface for The Fable of the Bees

Table of Du Châtelet’s Choices for Translation from Bernard Mandeville’s The Fable of the Bees

II Dissertation on the Nature and Propagation of Fire

Volume Editor’s Introduction

Related Letters

From the Dissertation

III Foundations of Physics

Volume Editor’s Introduction

Letters Related to the Foundations

From Foundations of Physics


IV Examinations of the Bible

Volume Editor’s Introduction

Related Letters

Examination of the Books of the Old Testament

Examination of the Books of the New Testament


V  Commentary on Newton’s Principia

Volume Editor’s Introduction

Related Letters

From the Commentary on Newton’s Principia


VI Discourse on Happiness

Volume Editor’s Introduction

Related Letters

Discourse on Happiness

Series Editors’ Bibliography


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