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The French Image of China before and after Voltaire

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Format: Book- Hardback
ISBN-13: 9780729400732
ISBN-10: 0729400735
Author: Basil Guy
Publication Date: 31-Dec-1963
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Table of Contents: Preface

Chapter I. The image takes shape 

Introduction: early merchant relations; France and the politics of religion; the rites controversy 

Chapter II. Scientia sinensis 

Religious contributions to Europe's knowledge of Chinese geography, history, and chronology; the great revelation: Chinese religion; Chinese morality and politics 

Chapter III. The libertines and the birth of the Chinese Sage 

Chinese chronology, the basis of attack; the negative approach: religious criticism; the positive approach: moral regeneration and political reform; the birth of the Chinese sage 

Chapter IV. Varying perspectives 

Chinoiseries; imaginative literature, I; gadflies 

Chapter V. Voltaire, sinophile 

Voltaire and the Jesuits; Chinese motifs; political criticism and religious toleration; China in the Essai sur les mœurs; sinomania 

Chapter VI. Transformations 

Enthusiasts and moderates; growing discontent; sinophobia: Diderot and Rousseau 

Chapter VII. The glory and the dream 

Physiocracy; imaginative literature, II; sinology 

Chapter VIII. The image fades 

China: the reality behind appearance; China's rivals: Hinduism, Hellenism, and primitivism; conclusion 

Appendix A. Chronological summary of the history of the Society of Jesus and its relations with China 

Appendix B. A comparative table of Chinese texts in English and French romanization 

Appendix C. The development of Voltaire's chapters on China in the Essai sur les mœurs 

Appendix D. A list of the significant works in which Voltaire mentions China 


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