'The Atheist's Bible: Diderot's 'Elements de physiologie' by Caroline Warman is the winner (jointly) of the R. Gapper Book Prize 2021 for best book in French Studies.

'The Philosophes' by Charles Palissot

'The Philosophes' by Charles Palissot ed. and transl. Jessica Goodman et al.
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78374-908-9 £19.95
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78374-909-6 £29.95
PDF ISBN: 978-1-78374-910-2 £0.00
epub ISBN: 978-1-78374-911-9 £5.99
mobi ISBN: 978-1-78374-912-6 £5.99
XML ISBN: 978-1-78374-913-3 £0.00

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The text includes the letter that Palissot published as a preface to the play, along with translations of the critical notes that Voltaire added to that preface when he republished it, and the translation is followed by the full French texts of both the play and this preface. All in all, this is an interesting and useful publication, and a steal at the online price of nothing at all.

Derek Connon, Swansea University, Modern Language Review, Vol. 117, PART 1 January 2022


In 1760, the French playwright Charles Palissot de Montenoy wrote Les Philosophes – a scandalous farcical comedy about a group of opportunistic self-styled philosophers. Les Philosophes emerged in the charged historical context of the pamphlet wars surrounding the publication of Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie, and delivered an oblique but acerbic criticism of the intellectuals of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, including the likes of Diderot and Rousseau.

This book presents the first high-quality English translation of the play, including critical apparatus. The translation is based on Olivier Ferret’s edition, and renders the text into iambic pentameter to preserve the character of the original. Adaptations are further provided of Ferret’s introduction and notes.

This masterful and highly accessible translation of Les Philosophes opens up this polemical text to a non-specialist audience. It will be a valuable resource to non-Francophone scholars and students working on the philosophical exchanges of the Enlightenment.

Moreover, this translation – the result of a year-long project undertaken by Jessica Goodman with six of her undergraduate French students – expounds the value of collaboration between scholar and student, and, as such, provides a model for other language tutors embarking on translation projects with their students.

'The Philosophes' by Charles Palissot
Transl. Jessica Goodman et al.; ed. Jessica Goodman and Olivier Ferret | January 2021
234pp. | 3 colour illustrations | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
ISBN Paperback: 9781783749089
ISBN Hardback: 9781783749096
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781783749102
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781783749119
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781783749126
ISBN Digital (XML): 9781783749133
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0201
BIC Subject Codes: HP (Philosophy), HPS (Social and political philosophy), 2ADF (French); BISAC: LCO008000 (LITERARY COLLECTIONS / European), PHI034000 (PHILOSOPHY / Social), PHI019000 (PHILOSOPHY / Political).OCLC Number: 1232503073.

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Introduction Download
Jessica Goodman and Olivier Ferret

Letter by Mr Palissot, Author of the Comedy The Philsophes, to Serve as a Preface to the Play Download
Charles Palissot de Montenoy and Jessica Goodman

The Philosophes

Lettre du Sieur Palissot, Auteur de la Comédie des Philosophes, pour Servir de Préface a la Pièce Download
Charles Palissot de Montenoy

Les Philosophes

Endnotes Download
Jessica Jessica and Olivier Ferret


Jessica Goodman is Associate Professor and Tutorial Fellow in French at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, where she teaches Early Modern French literature and French language.