"ONE MAY JUSTLY HAIL ROUSSEAU AS THE DISCOVERER OF THE CHILD": ROUSSEAU'S EMILE, VERY INFLUENTIAL IN THE HISTORY OF EDUCATION, 1763 FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH, EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED, IN LOVELY FRENCH MOROCCO-GILT
ROUSSEAU, J.J. Emilius; Or, an Essay on Education. Translated from the French by Mr. Nugent. London: J. Nourse and P. Vaillant, 1763. Two volumes. Octavo, early 20th-century full crimson crushed morocco, rebacked with original elaborately gilt-decorated spines and covers preserved, rasied bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $8000.
First edition in English, published only one year after the first edition, of one of Rousseau's greatest works, with four (of six) engraved plates by Eisen, this copy extra-illustrated with 43 fine engraved plates by Ponce, Lorieux, Longueil, Marcret, Leclerc, Deveria and others—for a total of 47 engraved plates—in lovely full morocco-gilt by renowned French bookbinder Thierry sc. de Petit-Simier.
Emile expressed Rousseau's primary philosophy of education, the core of which was his belief in encouraging a child to ask his own questions and in allowing a child to demonstrate his interest in a subject rather than forcing learning. "Few books have had a greater immediate effect on English educational thought than Rousseau's Emile. Coming at a time when new stirrings disturbed the calm waters of 18th-century English education, its ideas fused with those of radical and scientific thinkers to create new insights into children, into methods of teaching, and the scope of the educational process, and these gave new directions to English educational thought… The main appeal of Emile, however, lay in its repudiation of dogmas that were thought to fetter human development… its originality lay in the fact that it was the first comprehensive attempt to describe a system of education according to nature" (Stewart & McCan, 23-8). "One may justly hail Rousseau as the discoverer of the child" (Curtis & Boultwood, 264). The work was condemned by the Parliament of Paris in June, 1762. Emile proved very popular and was rapidly translated and printed throughout Europe.
Bookbinder Thierry sc. de Petit-Simier was a binding descendant to the great 19th century French binder René Simier. Simier's son, Petit-Simier, eventually took over the firm and upon Petit-Simier's retirement Thierry succeeded him and assumed control of the bindery. Includes both half titles and advertising leaf. This English edition was issued with six engraved plates by Eisen that appeared in the French language editions as well; four of those original plates are present in this copy, which has been extra-illustrated with a further 43 engraved plates from a variety of 18th- and 19th-century editions, for a total of 47 engraved plates. See Lowndes, 2134.
A beautifully bound and lovingly restored extra-illustrated copy in excellent condition.