Noël-Antoine Pluche

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Abbé Pluche

Noël-Antoine Pluche (13 November 1688 – 19 November 1761), known as the abbé Pluche, was a French priest. He is now known for his Spectacle de la nature, a most popular work of natural history.

Pluche, son of a baker, was born in Rheims, in a street now named after him. He became a teacher of rhetoric. The Bishop of Laon made him head of the town's college, a post he accepted to escape judicial consequences of opposing the papal bull Unigenitus (1713)

He withdrew in 1749 to La Varenne-Saint-Maur, near Paris, where he died.

His Spectacle de la nature, ou Entretiens sur les particularités de l'Histoire naturelle qui ont paru les plus propres à rendre les jeunes gens curieux et à leur former l'esprit was published in nine volumes 1732–1742, and widely translated all over Europe. Although it influenced many to become naturalists, it was a work of popularization, not of science.

Other works were

  • Histoire du ciel considéré selon les idées des poètes, des philosophes et de Moïse, où l'on fait voir : 1° l'origine du ciel poétique, 2° la méprise des philosophes sur la fabrique du ciel et de la terre, 3° la conformité de l'expérience avec la seule physique de Moïse (1739)
  • De Linguarum artificio et doctrina (1751)
  • Concorde de la géographie des différens âges (1764)
  • Lettre sur la sainte ampoule et sur le sacre de nos Rois à Reims. (1775)

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