A Conversation on the Plurality of Worlds


de Fontenelle, Bernard [Le Bouvier] (1657-1757); [John Glanvil, Trans.]

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de Fontenelle, Bernard [Le Bouvier] (1657-1757); [John Glanvil, Trans.]. A Conversation on the Plurality of Worlds. Edinburgh: Printed by T. Lumisden & Company for William Gray Junior, 1753. pp. xiv, 244. Small 8vo. Bound in full dark brown leather, four raised bands to spine. Edgewear, scuffing to extremities. Text-block remarkably clean and unmarked with tight, sound binding. Amongst the first of the major works to emerge out of The Englightenment, de Fontenelle (who lived to be an unbelievable – at the time – one hundred years old) first published “Entretiens sur la pluarlite des mondes” in 1686. The work proved to be enormously popular and was promptly translated to other languages with the first English edition appearing in 1687 this edition being published four years prior to his death. The book is divided into a series of conversations over six evenings between a Marquis and a Philosopher – the philosopher being de Fontenelle – explaining variously the heliocentric nature of the universe as proposed by Copernicus or even the possibility of the existence of humans on the moon. It is notable and highly unusual that these dialogues are addressed to a woman with the preface dedicated to, “A Young Lady”. Leather Bound. (#121) $200.00