L'Éleve de la Raison, et de la Religion, by CITOYEN,…


L'Éleve de la Raison, et de la Religion, ou Traité d’Éducation Physique, Morale, et Didactique, par un Citoyen. Nouvelle Edition. Tome Premier [-Quatrième]. Paris, Barbou, 1775.

First Edition, Second Issue. Four volumes, 12mo (160 x 92 mm), pp. [ii], xx, [iii], [i], 338, [6] contents, [2] errata; [ii], 399, [1], [6] contents, [2] errata; [ii], 442, [8] contents; [ii], 534, [6] contents, [1] errata, in contemporary pale polished calf, triple filet gilt to covers with corner fleurons, flat spines attractively gilt in compartments with red and green morocco labels lettered in gilt, delicate pale pink marbled endpapers and red edges.

A handsome copy of this scarce treatise on education in four volumes. The first volume is dedicated entirely to health and physical education, including breast-feeding, diet, athletics, boxing, running, riding. A final section discusses the sort of exercises offered in schools and concludes that not enough is offered. The second and third volumes are both dedicated to the ‘Morale’ of the title, or applied theology and philosophy, with sections on friendship, marriage, politeness and courage. The final volume is in two parts, the first being ‘Éducation Didactique’, which addresses the question of private versus public education, starting with the duties of parents towards their children and vice-versa, and the duties of teachers towards their charges. Advice is given as to the importance of learning languages (modern and ancient) and the best way of teaching them. There is a full chapter on the duties of tutors and another on the advantages of travel.
The work concludes with a supplement, ‘Pour l’Éducation des Filles’ (pp. 357-534), in which the author argues that the education of girls is no less important than that of boys. ‘Cependant, rien n’est si négligé parmi nous que l’Education des Filles; le préjugé & le caprice des Meres y décident souvent de tout. On suppose que ce sexe est foible, & qu’en conséquence on doit lui donner peu d’instruction: j’en conclus, au-contraire, que plus il est foible, plus il importe de le fortifier par l’Education le mieux soutenue’ (p. 357). Our anonymous citizen author proceeds to outline a method of education for young girls in which politics, military studies and Latin are not included, but English, Italian and gymnastics are key subjects.
First published in 1773 by Barbou, this anonymous treatise was reissued here with new title-pages reading ‘Nouvelle Edition’. Of the fist issue, OCLC lists copies at BN, Lyon, Institut de la France, Augsburg, Berlin and Chicago.

OCLC lists Maastricht, Bern, Barcelona and Lyon (vols. I and II only).

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