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L'abbé Morellet, par Carmontelle - aquarelle - coll. Maison de Chateaubriand
L'abbé Morellet, par Carmontelle - aquarelle - coll. Maison de Chateaubriand

André Morellet

Lyon 1727 - Paris 1819

French economist and miscellaneous writer, was born at Lyons on the 7th of March 1727. He was one of the last survivors of the philosophes, and in this character he figures in many memoirs, such as Mme de Remusat's. He was educated by the Jesuits in his native town, and at the Sorbonne; he then took holy orders, but his designation of abbe was the chief thing clerical about him. He had a ready and biting wit, and Voltaire called him "L'Abbe Mord-les." His work was chiefly occasional, and the most notable parts of it were a smart pamphlet in answer to Charles Palissot's scurrilous play Les Philosophes (which procured him a short sojourn in the Bastille for an alleged libel on Palissot's patroness, the princesse de Robeck), and a reply to Galiani's Commerce des bles (1770). Later, he made himself useful in quasi-diplomatic communications with English statesmen, and was pensioned, being, moreover, elected a member of the Academy in 1785. A year before his death in Paris on the 12th of January 1819 he brought out four volumes of Melanges de litterature et de philosophic du XVIIIe siecle, composed chiefly of selections from his former publications, and after his death appeared his valuable Memoires sur le XVIIIe siècle et la Revolution (2 vols., 1821).
Encyclopedia Britannica, Cambridge University Press, 191111

Main works: Théorie du paradoxe (1775); Manuel des inquisiteurs de Nicolaus Eymericus (1762); Mélanges de littérature et de philosophie du XVIIIe siècle (1818); Mémoires de l'abbé Morellet, de l'Académie française, sur le dix-huitième siècle et sur la Révolution (1821); Lettres inédites de l'abbé Morellet, sur l'histoire politique et littéraire des années 1806 et 1807, pour faire suite à ses Mémoires (1822).

Bibliography: L’abbé Morellet, in Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne, Paris, L.G. Michaud 1843, t. XXIX,  pp. 282-286.

Catalogue des livres de la bibliothèque de feu M. l'abbé Morellet: dont la vente se fera le lundi 18 Octobre 1819, etc., Paris, Verdière 1819, VIII + 374 p., in 8°.

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