[n.p.:]: 1763. First edition? Several editions—all of them rare—appeared in 1763: we have been unable to establish an order of priority. Paper flaw to p. [iv], affecting a few letters of text. A good, clean copy. Recently rebound in full sprinkled calf, raised bands, spine lettered gilt, new endpapers. Small octavo. , 152, [1, errata] pp. Item #7696
The lawyer La Chalotais (1701-1785) was one of the leaders of the movement that led to the elimination of the Society of Jesus in France in the eighteenth century, and his Essai was written in part to provide a program of public education that would fill the gap caused by the closure of the Jesuit schools. A revolutionary work, it was one of the first to maintain that the principal aim of education is to ensure the effective functioning of society, and was widely acclaimed on its publication. Voltaire wrote to La Chalotais, “Vous intitulez l'ouvrage Essai d'un Plan d'Etudes pour les collèges [sic], et moi, je l’intitule: Instruction d'un homme d'Etat pour éclairer tous les citoyens;’ and Grimm claimed that a time would come when this ‘petit livret’ was recognized as one of the greatest works of the century. Durkheim discusses the Essai in The Evolution of Educational Thought.