8vo, pp. [vi], 254; one or two spots, pp. 9-12 with short fore-edge tear not affecting text, occasional marginal highlighting in pencil, a very good copy bound in contemporary sheep, spine decorated with a gilt floral motif in compartments and a gilt morocco lettering-piece; a little worn, joints rubbed, head of spine chipped to expose headband; contemporary ink ownership inscription to the front flyleaf, contemporary table of contents written in ink on recto and verso of the rear flyleaf, later bookplate to front pastedown.
Added to your basket:
Philosophiske og Patriotiske Drømme af en Menneskeven. Oversatte af Peder Topp Wandall.
First Danish edition of Iselin’s earliest work, the very successful Filosofische und patriotische Träume. First published in 1755, a couple of years after his deeply affecting journey to France, having met among others Rousseau, Fontenelle and Buffon. His reformist version of utopia, a response to Rousseau’s ideal state of nature, aimed at sketching the traits of the optimum government in concrete terms of public administration, social structure, education and legality, and at tracing the history of human progress from barbarism to higher states of civility, which was to be the basis of the organic notion of state, as opposed to Rousseau’s theory of social contract. Iselin’s subsequent articles were infused with natural law arguments, with Leibniz’ and Wolff’s ‘enlightened’ logical tools, and with a practical view of religion as active and beneficial participation in the community.
This early reform-utopian works prepared the ground for Iselin’s encounter with Quesnay’s physiocratic theories: ‘Afterwards [i.e. after the Filosofische und patriotische Träume], by good fortune, the Ephémérides du Citoyén came into his hands, after reading which, Quesnay became in his eyes “what Newton is in the eyes of a mathematician”’ (Palgrave II, p. 459). Iselin became one of the foremost promoters of physiocracy in Switzerland and Germany.
Translated into Danish by the librarian, writer, and dramatist Peder Topp Wandall (1737-1794).
Rare, WorldCat, KVK, and the Danish Libraries Catalogue locate only 3 copies, 2 in the Det Kongelige Bibliotek in Copenhagen, and 1 in the Statsbiblioteket in Århus.
You may also be interested in...
A UTOPIA WITH MOBILE PHONES
‘ONE WOULD HAVE TO TAKE A LOT OF COCAINE TO MAKE THIS SITUATION MOSZKOWSKI, Alexander [and H.J. STENNING (trans.).]
The Isles of Wisdom.
First English edition of Alexander Moszkowski’s dystopian satire. Moszkowski imagines a visit to a series of South-East Asian islands which each subscribe unreservedly to a philosophical school of thought. These utopias are absurd: people’s notions of philosophical purity prevent them from appreciating life’s variety, and even emotions, like love, which are non-philosophically useful. Contradictions ensue: on the Platonic island the young read Homer and Hesiod to learn classical languages whilst being ‘taught to despise the deeds of which the poets tell’ as unproductive. Utopias therefore eliminate the inefficiencies and experiences which make life enjoyable, thus, ‘nine-tenths of all philosophy whatsoever is sheer nonsense’.
PIRACY AND PHILOSOPHY – UNRECORDED [WARD, Edward, and VOLTAIRE.]
The Humourous and Diverting Story of Two Sailors, Who, in order to recruit their Stock of Cash, committed a Robbery, for which one of them was Tried, and received Sentence of Death, with the Copy of a Letter Written by his Shipmate to His Majesty, King Charles the Second, In order to procure his Pardon, to which is added, The Frail Project of a Wise Man. London, ‘Published by M. Bassan, No.
Seemingly unrecorded edition of this humorous chapbook tale of two penniless sailors who turn to piracy in an attempt to pay their rent, printed with a translation of Voltaire’s Memnon and the anonymous poem ‘Clara’.