"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, IN CONTEMPORARY TREE CALF BOARDS
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, contemporary full tree calf sympathetically rebacked with original red morocco spine labels. $8000.
First edition in English, published only one year after the first edition, of one of Rousseau's greatest works, with six engraved plates by Eisen, in lovingly restored contemporary tree calf boards. An excellent copy.
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. 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. See Lowndes, 2134.
Text generally quite clean, contemporary tree calf expertly restored and quite handsome. A desirable copy of this landmark work in contemporary bindings.