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Desfontaines, Pierre François Guyot

Entry updated 11 August 2018. Tagged: Author.

(1685-1745) French Jesuit, who left the order in 1715; critic, controversialist, translator and author; he is now remembered primarily for his quarrels with Voltaire. After translating Jonathan Swift's Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and Then a Captain of Several Ships (1726 4vols) in 1727, he published Le Nouveau Gulliver, ou voyage de Jean Gulliver, fils du Capitaine Gulliver (1730; trans J Lockman as The Travels of Mr John Gulliver, Son to Capt Lemuel Gulliver 1731 2vols) (see Sequels by Other Hands), in which Gulliver's son is exposed to various societies – some Utopian, some rendered in terms of Desfontaines's conservative principles, including one unpleasant gynocracy (see Gender) – on various Islands; he ends up on an island whose inhabitants enjoy a cyclical Immortality, growing young after a century or so, and then beginning again. [JC]

Abbé Pierre François Guyot Desfontaines

born Rouen, France: 1685

died Paris France: 16 December 1745



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