22 - 23 March 2005
HOLBACH, Paul Heinrich Dietrich Thiery, Baron von (1723-1789) -- Catalogue des livres de la Bibliothèque de feu M. le Baron d'Holbach. Paris: Imprimerie de Chardon for Guillaume Debure l'aîné, after 24 October [date of the imprimatur], 1789.
8o (198 x 122 mm). 19th-century marbled boards (rebacked). Provenance: The Grolier Club (bookplate, withdrawn stamp).
PRICED in a contemporary hand. The sale catalogue of the extensive library of the scientist and philosopher, author of the Système de la Nature, ou des lois du monde physique et du monde moral, "his philosophical masterpiece...a methodical and intransigent affirmation of materialism and atheism, appeared anonymously in 1770. In the ensuing decade, he published a series of ethical and political works which criticized or attacked the absolutist monarchy, state religion, class system... of the ancien régime" (DSB). At his house in Paris and his Château de Granval he received the intellectual luminaries of the period, among them especially Diderot to whose Encyclopédie he contributed four hundred signed articles, and probably as many unsigned ones. North 344.
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