L'Évangile de la Raison, by VOLTAIRE, François Marie Arouet de…

including the Cathéchisme de l’honnête homme
VOLTAIRE, François Marie Arouet de (1694-1778).

L'Évangile de la Raison, Ouvrage Philosophique. Holland? 1765.

8vo, (192 x 115 mm), pp. viii (paginated ‘6’), 254, some scattered light foxing in the text, in contemporary calf, front joint splitting at head and foot, spine gilt in compartments, red and brown morocco labels lettered in gilt, the top label lettered ‘Oeuvre de Voltair’, evidently this work bound uniformly with other volumes not present here, marbled endpapers, red edges.

A scarce Dutch edition of this key compilation of four inflammatory works by Voltaire, first published in 1764 and condemned. The works are Testament de Jean Meslier, Catéchisme de l’Honnête-Homme, Sermon des cinquante and Saül et David. A fifth work, Examen de la Religion, is thought to have been written by La Serre and not by Voltaire. This is the first of several similar compilations edited and published by Voltaire under provocative titles.
‘Ce recueil, probablement imprimé en Hollande et publié en 1764, réunit cinq ouvrages explosifs contre le christianisme, tous anonymes naturellement... le titre montre, à côté des ‘Sermons’, ‘Catéchismes’, ‘Homélies’, l’étonnante récupération, de la part d’un auteur qui juge incompatibles christianisme et raison, de la terminologie de l’adversaire. La composition de ce livre était due à Voltaire lui-même, qui réalisa là sa première ‘collection’ d’écrits contre l’Infàme’ (Marie-Hélène Cotoni, Inventaire Voltaire, p. 513).
This edition contains the same pieces as the first edition, with Saül being placed as the last piece in the collection and being described on the half-title as an ‘hyperdrame’ rather than a ‘tragédie’. This is a translation from the English, The man after God’s own heart, London 1760, by Peter Annet (1693-1769). The other pieces are in the same order and all, with the exception of Testament de Jean Meslier, have half-titles. The half-title to l’Examen bears the date 1764.

BN Voltaire Catalogue 5229; Bengesco 1897 A, p. 389.

Keywords: Continental Books
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