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
Adapted Map for Chapter L: Paris, “Plan géométral de Paris et de ses fauxbourgs,” by Gilles Robert de Vaugondy, and Charles François Delamarche, 1797, courtesy of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, Boston Public Library, 06_01_006798.
“Jean-Baptiste le Rond d'Alembert,” print by Quentin de La Tour, before 1788, courtesy of the Wellcome Library, London, 497i.
Portrait of Denis Diderot at his writing table by François Anne David, after Louis Michel van Loo, between 1751 - 1824. Courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, RP-P-OB-63792
Illustration from Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, by Denis Diderot and Jean. Le Rond d'Alembert, 18th century, courtesy of the Wellcome Library, London; “The Ear and the Temple after Duverney, Valsalva and Ruysch, print by Benard, late 18th century,” 34495i.
Illustrations from Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, by Denis Diderot and Jean. Le Rond d'Alembert, 18th century, courtesy of the Wellcome Library, London. “Elevation and Cross-section of Normandie Salt Works and Used Instruments,” print by Bénard after L. J. Goussier, 31024i.
Illustrations from various editions of Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, by Denis Diderot and Jean. Le Rond d'Alembert, 18th century, courtesy of the Wellcome Library, London; “Process of Washing Silver and Machinery Used” print by Bénard after Lucotte, 34739i.