Marie Geneviève Charlotte Thiroux d'Arconville: Selected Philosophical, Scientific, and Autobiographical Writings

The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series, Vol. 58

Marie Geneviève Charlotte Thiroux d'Arconville: Selected Philosophical, Scientific, and Autobiographical Writings

Edited by Julie Candler Hayes
2018 | 243 + xv pp. | 978-0-86698-578-9 | Paperback 6 x 9 in
MRTS 522 | $44.95 |

OVEME v.58. Marie-Geneviève-Charlotte Thiroux d’Arconville combined fierce intellectual ambition with the proper demeanor of the wife of a leading magistrate. Bemoaning her lack of a formal education in childhood, as an adult she read widely, studied languages, and sought out mentors among the scientific elite of the day. Always publishing anonymously, her works included moralist philosophy, scientific and literary translations, original scientific research, fiction, and history. Recently, a trove of unpublished essays and autobiographical writings from her final years, long thought to have been lost, has come to light, revealing her as a writer of insight, wit, and feeling.

Edited and translated by Julie Candler Hayes


Reviews

In her edition and translation of writings by Marie-Geneviève-Charlotte Thiroux d’Arconville (1720–1805), Julie Candler Hayes provides an important look at a remarkable woman writer, thinker, and scientist. D’Arconville was a “true woman of the Enlightenment” — a woman of wide-ranging interests, concerned with moral, societal, and philosophical issues, such as the role of self-love (amour-propre), perspectives on history, and the value of friendship versus marriage. Her published writings are extremely significant, but perhaps even more intriguing are the recently rediscovered manuscript texts that she wrote late in life, offering a glimpse into the mind of this fascinating woman who was married at a very early age, took charge of her own education, and outlived the Revolution.
—Sharon Diane Nell
Professor of French and Dean of the School of Humanities, St. Edward’s University