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Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, marquis de Condorcet (1743-1794)

  • Condorcet, Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat, marquis de, 1743-1794.
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


Letters and notes by Condorcet, and associated documentation:

1. Letter, signed, 1776; recipient is given in an attached manuscript dealer's note as "M. Trudaine", but this may not be accurate. Concerning two sous-ingenieurs who have been working at Ribemont (Condorcet's birthplace), Condorcet's correspondence on the subject with M. Le Pelletier, and his intention to deliver a tribute to the recently deceased Linnaeus.

2. Letter, unsigned, undated, but endorsed 1781.

3. Notes, headed "Travaux Anatomiques." Undated.

4. Notes, headed "Interscendentes". 1762.

5. Notes, headed "Pieces fugitives interées dans le comentaire". Undated, but probably from the first half of 1780. This piece relates to Kehl's edition of Voltaire, published in seventy volumes from 1785 to 1789, the first complete edition of Voltaire's work to appear after his death.

6. Extract, manuscript, from the Registers of the Académie Royale des Sciences, recording work by M. Hassenfratz (presumably the scientist Jean Henri Hassenfratz (1755-1827)) on nutrition in plants, signed by Condorcet. 1792.

7. Note to an unnamed individual indicating how they should communicate whilst Condorcet is ill. 1775.



Physical description

1 file

Acquisition note

Purchased from Desgranges, Paris, June 1930 (acc.67390), November 1932 (acc.65667) and January 1934 (acc.66597); Charavay, Paris, November 1932 (acc.65657) and April 1936 (acc.69426).

Biographical note

Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, marquis de Condorcet (1743-1794), was a mathematician, philosopher and political scientist. He was an advocate of political freedom and equality of rights (for example, for women and for non-Europeans), and linked to many figures in the French Enlightenment. During the final years of the French monarchy he served in various capacities and in 1777 he became Permanent Secretary of the Académie Royale des Sciences. In the initial phases of the Revolution he took a leading role, serving as Secretary to the Assembly, but was identified more with the moderate Girondists than the radical Jacobins; as the Jacobins took control and the Revolution grew more radical, like many aristocratic liberals he fell from favour. He was declared a traitor in 1793 and went into hiding; captured in March 1794, he was found dead in his cell, there being various theories as to whether this was suicide or murder. His body was moved to the Panthéon in Paris in 1989 on the bicentennial of the Revolution, as a symbolic rehabilitation.

Related material

In the Wellcome Library:

A letter to Condorcet in his capacity as Secretary of the Académie Royale des Sciences is held as MS.7695/1.


  • French

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