Like many of Diderot's (q.v.) writings, Jacques le fataliste et son maître (1796) had a curious history. He probably started writing it in the late 1760s, prompted by the discussion of fatalism by Corporal Trim in Book VIII of Sterne's Tristram Shandy, a copy of which was sent to his friend D'Holbach by David Garrick in 1765. The first clue to the composition of Jacques dates from September 1771, when Diderot apparently read an early version of it to a friend. It was completed over the next few years; between 1778 and 1780, instalments appeared in the Correspondance littéraire, a manuscript newsletter edited by his friend Melchior Grimm. Additions appeared in the CL in July 1780 and a …
Adams, David J.. "Jacques le Fataliste et son Maître". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 September 2004; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=4367, accessed 27 April 2015.]