Entretiens sur la Pluralité des Mondes. by FONTENELLE. Bernard Le…

FONTENELLE. Bernard Le Bovier de (1657-1757).

Entretiens sur la Pluralité des Mondes. Par M. de Fontenelle de l’Académie François. Nouvelle Edition augmentée. Londres [ie the Netherlands?], Paul & Isaak Vaillant, 1707.

12mo (158 x 86 mm), engraved frontispiece and pp. [8], 103, [1], title-page in red and black, folding engraved plate portraying the planetary spheres, two worm trails at gutter touching the plate and the text through the first gathering, marginal only after that, in contemporary sprinkled sheep, raised bands, spine gilt and gilt-lettered, corners a bit bumped, upper joint cracked but firm, head of spine chipped.

A scarce and delightfully illustrated edition, with a false London imprint, probably produced as a pirated edition in Amsterdam. First published in 1686, Fontenelle’s Entretiens sought to explain in accessible language the heliocentric model proposed by Copernicus; it unfolds in the form of conversations between a philosopher and a marquise sitting in the garden, who muse about the universe whilst looking at the night sky – a scene portrayed in the frontispiece to this edition. One of the most influential and popular books of the Enlightenment.

ESTC t137575, listing BL, Liverpool, Haverford College, Huntington, Oklahoma and three copies in Poland.

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