ROUSSEAU, J.J. The Confessions of Jean Jacques Rousseau now for the first time completely translated into English without Expurgation. [Edinburgh]: [Oliver and Boyd], 1904.
8vo, 2 vols, bound in yellow publisher's cloth with paper label to spine; engraved portrait frontispieces; with thirteen additional engravings (vol. 1; 6, vol. 2; 7) by Hedouin; all edges untrimmed, vol I pp. xix, [iii], 281, [iii]; vol II pp. xv, [iii], 414, [ii]; yellow cloth and paper labels slightly soiled; corners a little bruised and spines a trifle dusty, else an internally clean copy.
First edition thus from an early private run - the translator is unnamed. The controversial confessions of Rousseau, widely considered to be the first modern autobiography.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of the 18th century. His political philosophy influenced the overall development of modern political, sociological, and educational thought. In The Confessions , Rousseau argues passionately against the inequality he believes to be intrinsic to civilized society, while reliving the first fifty-three years of his radical life with vivid immediacy - from his earliest years, where we can see the source of his belief in the innocence of childhood, through to the development of his philosophical and political ideas, his struggle against the French authorities and exile from France following the publication of Emile. His work went on to directly influence Proust, Goethe and Tolstoy.