Charles-Louis de Secondat Montesquieu, Lettres persanes [Persian Letters]

Haskins Gonthier Ursula (University of Birmingham)
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Lettres persanes


Persian Letters

], the first published work by the French Enlightenment philosopher and political theorist Montesquieu, appeared in Amsterdam in 1721. That the work was published anonymously outside France and without the official authorisation of the French censors is a mark of its subversive and controversial content, much of which is, however, masked by the author’s masterful use of wit, irony and allusion. The

Lettres persanes

is an epistolary novel which in its final edition includes 161 letters (the first edition contained 150). These make up the correspondence of two Persian travellers, Usbek and Rica, who leave their home in Ispahan in 1711 and journey to France, where they stay until 1720. Usbek and Rica’s letters to each other and to Persian friends and…

2000 words

Citation: Ursula, Haskins Gonthier. "Lettres persanes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 March 2011 [, accessed 22 April 2024.]

3978 Lettres persanes 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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