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Horace Walpole, a man of many aphorisms

Originally posted on prior probability:
I have been reading the correspondence of Horace Walpole for the years 1765/66 as part of my researches into Adam Smith’s life in Paris. (Walpole’s first visit to Paris coincided with Smith’s second.) Walpole, a…

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Smith in the City: Hume’s garden

Adam Smith may have had an opportunity to visit David Hume’s old stomping grounds, the luxurious Hôtel de Brancas on the rue de l’Université, on Sunday, March 16, for Horace Walpole’s journal entry for that day reads: “To Hôtel de … Continue reading

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Smith in the City: Count Schuwalof

Note: This blog post should have appeared before my previous one, “Jacobites in Paris.” I am posting it here, out of order, for your edification. Horace Walpole, still recuperating from a serious eye infection, mentions two more individuals by name … Continue reading

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Smith in the City: Jacobites in Paris

Horace Walpole’s journal entries for Thursday, March 13 and Saturday, March 15 both refer to Adam Smith and to the Scots College in Paris: March 13: “Dr Smith and Gordon, Principal of the Scotch College came.”[1] March 15: “With Dr … Continue reading

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Adam Smith and the salons of Paris: venues of Enlightenment or situses of snobbery?

Horace Walpole’s journal entry for Saturday, March 8 reads: “Ditto. Mme Geoffrin, Mr Smith, Mme du Deffand, Lord and Lady George came.”[1] That is, in addition to Adam Smith, Lord George Lennox, and Lord George’s wife Lady Louisa Kerr, Walpole’s … Continue reading

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Smith in the City: the King scolds his magistrates

Horace Walpole’s journal entry for Monday, March 3 reads: “King [Louis XV] went suddenly to the [Paris] Parliament–packing up and writing letters till late in the evening. Dr Smith and Baron d’Holbach came. To the Temple.”[1] This pithy entry poses … Continue reading

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Map of Paris (1780)

Although this beautiful pocket map of prerevolutionary Paris was produced in 1780 by the famed cartographers Jacques Esnauts and Michel Rapilly, several years after Adam Smith’s residency in the City of Lights in 1766, it gives us some idea of … Continue reading

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Bad data visualization?

I am interrupting my “Smith in the City” series to ask, Does this infographic make any sense to you? Also, where is New Zealand?

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Adam Smith, opera-dancers, and Le Demimonde

In my previous post I described Adam Smith’s first visit to the Théâtre-Italien in Paris, which took place on a Sunday (March 2, 1766). As it happens, Smith has quite a few things to say about the theater–and about actors, … Continue reading

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Smith in the city: night at the (comic) opera

During his nine-month sojourn in Paris in 1766, Adam Smith most likely found time to enjoy many of the famed diversions of the metropolis, including the royal gardens of Paris and the fair of Saint-Germain.[1] Among other things, we know … Continue reading

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