Overview of Chapter L : In 1764, this thirty-four-year old woman broke with convention and opened her own salon in Paris. What she created was a place where both established and nascent intellectuals were free to express themselves candidly. The novelty of that atmosphere regularly allowed Mlle. de Lespinasse to attract to her salon the leading figures of the Enlightenment, including d'Alembert, Diderot, Hume, and Rousseau. The chapter considers the relationships between these men, varieties in salon culture, Mlle. de Lespinasse’s romances, Romanticism, and opium addiction.
1. The Enlightenment celebrated reason and Romanticism celebrated emotion. Are you a rationalist or a romantic? Why?
2. How would history see Mlle. de Lespinasse if her letters to Mora and Guibert never been found? Would she be even more forgotten than she is?
3. Did Mlle. de Lespinasse betray d'Alembert?
1. Stage a trial between Rousseau and Hume as each sues the other for damages.
2. Pick an topic from the Encyclopédie about which you know little. Compare the ways in which this was done in the 18th century and today.
3. See the links in the interior design section below and follow answer the question.
• Mary McAlpin, "Denis Diderot and the Masturbating Girl," Journal for Eighteenth‐Century Studies, Vol. 42, no. 4, (2019), 487– 500, https://doi.org/10.1111/1754-0208.12659