London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, within Grays-Inn Gate next Grays-Inn, 1708. Full Calf. First edition of this translation, by John Hughes, superseding that of Dryden. 8vo; , l, , 209 pp, with a finely engraved frontispiece. Bound in contemporary or slightly later 18th-century Cambridge-paneled calf, the spine richly gilt in six compartments divided by raised bands, with a red leather lettering piece in the second. The joints very skillfully mended, a Near Fine copy, the pages bright and fresh. ESTC Citation No. T139460. Near Fine. Item #BB0353
The Dialogues, modeled on the dialogues of Lucian, unite in conversation figures from antiquity, such as Socrates and Aristotle, with more recent personages, including Erasmus and Montaigne, to discuss the literary and philosophical developments of Fontenelle's day. First published anonymously in 1683, Dialogues des morts and Nouveaux dialogues des morts were Fontenelle's first works and ignited his reputation, which was consolidated three years later with Entretiens sur la pluralité des mondes, through which he popularized Copernicus's heliocentric model of the Universe. To this edition, John Hughes contributes both an appreciation and assessment of Fontenelle as well as two dialogues of his own.