Charles de Brosses

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Engraved portrait of de Brosses

Charles de Brosses (French: [də bʁɔs]), comte de Tournay, baron de Montfalcon, seigneur de Vezins et de Prevessin (7 February 1709 – 7 May 1777), was a French writer of the 18th century.


He was president of the parliament of his hometown Dijon from 1741, a member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres from 1746, and a member of the Académie des Sciences, Arts et Belles-Lettres de Dijon from 1761. He was a close friend of Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon, the naturalist who wrote the Histoire Naturelle, and a personal enemy of Voltaire, the famous philosopher, who barred his entry in the Académie française in 1770. Because he opposed the absolute power of the king, he was exiled twice, in 1744 and 1771. He wrote numerous academic papers on topics concerning ancient history and language, some of which were used by Denis Diderot and D'Alembert in the Encyclopédie (1751-1765).[1]


De Brosses published five books:

De Brosses is also remembered for his posthumously published letters:

The first English translation of Du culte des dieux fétiches will be published in The Returns of Fetishism: Charles De Brosses and the Afterlives of an Idea in June 2017.[2]


  1. ^ Frank A. Kafker: Notices sur les auteurs des dix-sept volumes de « discours » de l'Encyclopédie. Recherches sur Diderot et sur l'Encyclopédie. 1989, Volume 7, Numéro 7, p. 133
  2. ^ "New Book - The Returns of Fetishism: Charles de Brosses and the Afterlives of an Idea | The H-Net Book Channel | H-Net". Retrieved 18 March 2017.

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