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Distributed for Iter Press

Selected Philosophical, Scientific, and Autobiographical Writings

Edited and Translated by Julie Candler Hayes
Marie-Geneviève-Charlotte Thiroux d’Arconville combined fierce intellectual ambition with the proper demeanor of the wife of a leading magistrate. Bemoaning her lack of a formal education in childhood, as an adult she read widely, studied languages, and sought out mentors among the scientific elite of the day. Always publishing anonymously, her works included moralist philosophy, scientific and literary translations, original scientific research, fiction, and history. Recently, a trove of unpublished essays and autobiographical writings from her final years, long thought to have been lost, has come to light, revealing her as a writer of insight, wit, and feeling.

Edited and translated by Julie Candler Hayes

The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series, volume 58

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"In her edition and translation of writings by Marie-Geneviève-Charlotte Thiroux d’Arconville (1720–1805), Julie Candler Hayes provides an important look at a remarkable woman writer, thinker, and scientist. D’Arconville was a 'true woman of the Enlightenment' of wide-ranging interests, concerned with moral, societal, and philosophical issues, such as the role of self-love (amour-propre), perspectives on history, and the value of friendship versus marriage. Her published writings are extremely significant, but perhaps even more intriguing are the recently rediscovered manuscript texts that she wrote late in life, offering a glimpse into the mind of this fascinating woman who was married at a very early age, took charge of her own education, and outlived the Revolution."

Sharon Diane Nell, St. Edward’s University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xv
Introduction 1
Part One: Published Works, 1756–1783 23
Dedicatory epistle and translator’s note 25
Discourse on Chemistry 30
Discourse on Osteology 75
Thoughts and Moral Reflections, excerpts 84
Treatise on Friendship, excerpts 102
Discourse on Putrefaction 113
Preface to The Life of Marie de Médicis 126
Preface to The History of François II 134
Part Two: Late Manuscripts, 1801–1805 141
Thoughts, Reflections, and Anecdotes, excerpts 143
Bibliography 231
Index 241

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