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This Author: Jean-Jacques Rousseau
This Publisher: LibriVox

Title Details

Unabridged Edition
Running Time
28 Hrs. 51 Min.
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Emile, or On Education or Émile, or Treatise on Education (French: Émile, ou De l’éducation) was published in 1762 in French and German and in 1763 in English. The significance of Rousseau in education as well as in politics must be found in his revolutionary attitude toward established institutions. Some of his biographers relate the story that when the Academy of Dijon, in 1749, offered a prize for an essay on the question whether the progress of the arts and sciences has tended to the purification of morals and manners, he followed the suggestion of Diderot, who reminded him of the greater notoriety which he could gain by advocating the negative side. The Archbishop of Paris, Christophe de Beaumont (1703-1781), saw in it a dangerous, mischievous work, and gave himself the trouble of writing a long encyclical letter in order to point out the book to the reprobation of the faithful. This was due to the Fourth Book, Confessions of a Savoyard Priest.

Rousseau created an imaginary child named Emile and became his tutor. As tutor, he was careful to keep the passions in check while developing the mind. Then he created an imaginary mate for Emile named Sophy.

The book was reviewed in The Monthly Review 1763 printed by Ralph Griffiths. "Rousseau says man is born twice, first to exist, then to live; once to a species and again with regard to sex. At the age of puberty commences the second birth, when he is truly born to live, and enters into full possession of the powers of human nature. Tho' nature points out the time when youth emerges from infancy this period may be either accelerated or retarded by education." It was originally translated into English as early as 1768.

William H. Payne (1836–1907) translated Emile in 1895. This reading is from Barbara Foxley's 1912 translation from Gutenberg.org.

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