Wicked Company: Radical Freethinkers and Friendship in Pre-Revolutionary Paris

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9780297858188: Wicked Company: Radical Freethinkers and Friendship in Pre-Revolutionary Paris

Imagine the world's most brilliant and charismatic people around one dinner table, the greatest philosophers, novelists, scientists, actors and political activists - and imagine them joking one moment and then immersed in intense discussion broken by bursts of laughter. Imagine also that this astonishing company was defined not only by who is at the table, but by what they say: opinions radical enough to land them all in prison.The decade-long flourishing, in the 1760s, of friendship and radical philosophy in Baron Holbach's Paris salon is a seminal moment in Western history, a moment of astonishing radicalism in European thought, so uncompromising and bold that its vision has still not be fully realised. Frequented by a group of men and women who were united by their love of intellectual freedom, by their contempt for the conventional and often by the danger of persecution into which they put themselves, Holbach's house became the epicentre of freethinking, a place like no other in eighteenth-century Europe. The guests would talk until deep into the night, dreaming up a bold, new way of doing things, of thinking about the world and about society - a way we have come to call modernity.The book focuses on the early life of four young men, two philosophers (Hume and Rousseau) and two philosophes (Didenot and Holbach) as they set out with a mixture of desperation and optimism to travel and study. Philipp Blom's new book dazzlingly combines biography with the history of ideas and the birth of modernism.

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About the Author:

Philipp Blom was born in Hamburg and trained as an historian in Vienna and Oxford. He is the author of TO HAVE AND TO HOLD a history of collectors and collecting and ENCYCLOPEDIA. He writes regularly for journals and newspapers in Europe and the United States. He lives in Vienna.Visit Philipp Blom's website at www.philipp-blom.eu.

Review:

Blom succeeds in conveying a lot of detailed information about the philosophes' friendships and amorous adventures to the general reader in engaging and readily accessible prose. -- Ruth Scurr * LITERARY REVIEW * A remarkable group of men populate the pages of Philipp Blom's quirky and original book. -- Jonathan Sumption * THE SPECTATOR * (An) engaging portrait -- David Auberach * TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT * Blom skilfully weaves his story around a large cast of characters...(and) teases out the nuances of the group's ideas with considerable finesse. -- Suzi Feay * INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY * 'Blom is such a stylish and clever writer: his prose is as lucid and elegant as any of his 18th-century heroes...Blom's book is not only a pleasure to read but also a celebration of the real and material joys to be found in the godless universe" -- Andrew Hussey * FINANCIAL TIMES * Blom's passionate enthusiasm for ideas and his immersive knowledge has created a crash course in the great debates of a distant era but he leaves us in no doubt that the arguments of the 18th century have yet to be resolved -- Ben Felsenburg * METRO * Mr Blom's book is part biography and part polemic. He sketches the early lives of Diderot, Holbach, Rousseau and other players in the drama, and describes the philosophy they hammered out. It is also an iconoclastic rebuttal of what he describes as the "official" history of the Enlightenment. * THE ECONOMIST *

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1.

Philipp Blom
Editorial: George Weidenfeld & Nicholson (2011)
ISBN 10: 0297858181 ISBN 13: 9780297858188
Nuevos Tapa dura Primera edición Cantidad: 1
Librería
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, Estados Unidos de America)
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Descripción George Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2011. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0297858181

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2.

Blom, Philipp
Editorial: George Weidenfeld & Nicholson (2011)
ISBN 10: 0297858181 ISBN 13: 9780297858188
Nuevos Tapa dura Cantidad: 2
Librería
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, Estados Unidos de America)
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Descripción George Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2011. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110297858181

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