Description: The purpose of this thesis is to examine the letters of Diderot to Sophie Volland for the year 1759 as they are a source of important autobiographical, social, and psychological elements that shed light on Diderot's private and public life. In fact a turning point in the sentimental relationship between Diderot and Sophie Volland, the death of his father, the difficulties experienced in publishing the Encyclop6'die and consequently the coolness in his friendship with D'Alembert make 1759 a crucial year in Diderot's life. The conclusion reached is that the stylistically beautiful and modern letters to Sophie Volland of this year are self-revelatory for they show that the events of 1759 made a great psychological impact upon Diderot and started a process of maturity in his character. These letters can undoubtedly be considered a major part of Diderot's work and they can certainly contribute to a deeper understanding of this genius.
Date: August 1976
Creator: Simmons, Marina C.