Denis Diderot: Encyclopédie [The Encyclopedia]

(2544 words)
  • David J. Adams (University of Manchester)

The first text volume of the Encyclopédie was published in 1751; six more followed, at roughly yearly intervals, up to 1757. The last ten volumes of text appeared together in 1765. Eleven volumes of plates were published at intervals between 1762 and 1772. Four supplementary volumes of text, and one of plates, came out in 1776-77. A two-volume index was published in 1780, making thirty-five volumes in all.

The history of the Encyclopédie might be said to encapsulate the struggle between reform and reaction in pre-Revolutionary France. The project had its origins in a plan to capitalise on the contemporary vogue for works of reference by producing a French translation of Ephraim Chambers' Cyclopedia or an …

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Adams, David J.. "Encyclopédie". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 May 2003
[, accessed 25 November 2015.]