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Louis Claude de Saint-Martin

Louis Claude de Saint-Martin

Amboise 1743 - Paris 1803


Philosopher and French mystic, called le philosophe inconnu. Born noble and a military man by profession, influenced by the Jewish-Christian theurgy of Martines de Pasquilly, he left the army, and dedicated himself from 1788 to the study of the German mystic Jacob Böhme, whose writings he translated.

Main works: Tableau naturel des rapports qui existent entre Dieu, l’homme et l’universe (Lyon 1782); L’Homme de désir (Lyon 1790); Ecce homo (Lyon 1790); Lettre à un ami, ou Considérations politiques, philosophiques et religieuses sur la Révolution française (Paris 1795); Le ministère de l’homme-esprit (Paris 1802).

Bibliography: R. Tourlet, Notice historique sur les principaux ouvrages du Philosophe inconnu et sur leur auteur Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin, in Mercure de France, Archives littéraires de l'Europe, ou mélanges de littérature et d'histoire et de philosophie par une société de Gens de Lettres..., tome I, Paris, Henrichs, janvier-mars 1804, pp. 320-336; N. Jacques-Lefèvre, Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin, le Philosophe inconnu, Paris 2003.



Catalogue des livres rares et précieux du cabinet de feu M. de Saint-Martin, Paris, Tilliard Frères 1806, 170 p.

The sale catalogue lists 1,196 volumes divided, according to the tradition of the Paris booksellers, in five classes: Théologie (nos. 1-63bis), Jurisprudence (nos. 64-78), Sciences et arts (nos. 79-497), Belles Lettres (nos. 498-902), Histoire (nos. 903-1196), which are further subdivided. The library of Saint-Martin was inherited by his sister Louise-Marie de l’Estenduère, who sold it some years later. A part of the archive, and probably of the books as well, was donated to Saint-Martin’s disciple Joseph Gilbert, which explains the scant presence of mystical texts in the catalogue.

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last modify: 2010-10-21 11:26:04