Jean-Jacques Rousseau Archive

Note on Rousseau’s “Emile” and “On the Social Contract”

Source: Correspondance littéraire, philosophique, et critique de Grimm et de Diderot depuis 1753 jusqu'en 1793. Tome III . Paris, Furne, 1829-1831.
Translated: for by Mitchell Abidor.

We received Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s work on education[1] a week ago. This book did not delay in causing an uproar. It is said that the parlement is going to prosecute the author for the profession of faith he inserted into it. Intolerance and bigotry will not allow so beautiful an occasion for tormenting a writer to pass, and M. Rousseau will likely be forced to leave France. This daring and eloquent author of paradoxes published a treatise in Holland called “On the Social Contract,” which can’t be found in this country and which is said to be a hundred times bolder than the work on education. I must carefully read the latter before daring to speak to you about it.

— April 15, 1761
Friedrich Melchior Grimm
Correspondance Littéraire

1. Émile, ou de l'Éducation