1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bachaumont, Louis Petit de

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BACHAUMONT, LOUIS PETIT DE (1690-1771), French littérateur, was of noble family and was brought up at the court of Versailles. He passed his whole life in Paris as the centre of the salon of Madame Doublet de Persan (1677-1771), where criticism of art and literature took the form of malicious gossip. A sort of register of news was kept in a journal of the salon, which dealt largely in scandals and contained accounts of books suppressed by the censor. Bachaumont's name is commonly connected with the first volumes of this register, which was published anonymously under the title Mémoires secrets pour servir à l'histoire de la République des Lettres, but his exact share in the authorship is a matter of controversy. It was continued by Pidansat de Mairobert (1707-1779) and others, until it reached 36 volumes (1774-1779). It is of some value as a historical source, especially for prohibited literature. Extracts were published by P. Lacroix in one volume, 1859. An incomplete edition (4 vols.) was undertaken in 1830 by Ravenal.

See, in addition to the memoirs of the time, especially the Correspondance littéraire of Grimm, Diderot, d'Alembert and others (new ed., Paris, 1878, 17 vols.); Ch. Aubertin, L'Esprit public au XVIIIe siècle (Paris, 1872).