Start reading Wicked Company on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Wicked Company
 
 

Wicked Company [Kindle Edition]

Philipp Blom
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £14.99
Kindle Price: £9.98 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £5.01 (33%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £9.98  
Hardcover £22.79  
Paperback £10.50  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: At least 60% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Between 20-26 October 2014, spend £10 in a single order on item(s) dispatched from and sold by Amazon.co.uk and receive a £2 promotional code to spend in the Amazon Appstore. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)

Product Description

Review

Mr Blom's book is part biography and part polemic. He sketches the early lives of Diderot, Holbach, Rousseau and other players in the drama, and describes the philosophy they hammered out. It is also an iconoclastic rebuttal of what he describes as the "official" history of the Enlightenment. (THE ECONOMIST )

Blom's passionate enthusiasm for ideas and his immersive knowledge has created a crash course in the great debates of a distant era but he leaves us in no doubt that the arguments of the 18th century have yet to be resolved (Ben Felsenburg METRO )

'Blom is such a stylish and clever writer: his prose is as lucid and elegant as any of his 18th-century heroes...Blom's book is not only a pleasure to read but also a celebration of the real and material joys to be found in the godless universe" (Andrew Hussey FINANCIAL TIMES )

Blom skilfully weaves his story around a large cast of characters...(and) teases out the nuances of the group's ideas with considerable finesse. (Suzi Feay INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY )

(An) engaging portrait (David Auberach TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT )

A remarkable group of men populate the pages of Philipp Blom's quirky and original book. (Jonathan Sumption THE SPECTATOR )

Blom succeeds in conveying a lot of detailed information about the philosophes' friendships and amorous adventures to the general reader in engaging and readily accessible prose. (Ruth Scurr LITERARY REVIEW )

Book Description

Dazzling recreation of the world of radical free-thinkers in 18th-century France.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 858 KB
  • Print Length: 382 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1780220103
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (31 Mar 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004R9Q1N0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #362,713 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Customer Reviews

4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wicked Company 13 April 2011
By S Riaz HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
This is an enthralling look at the Enlightenment in Pre-Revolutionary Paris and, in particular, at one of the many famous salons there - that of Baron d'Holbach. His salon was different from most, often grander salons, which were headed by ladies who wished to encourage literature. Holbach's was more of a male preserve, and he attracted free thinkers, philosophers and scientists. Along with early friends, such as Diderot and Rousseau, his house became a magnet for those thinkers and intellectuals who wished to replace religion with science. The Enlightenment battle cry was "Sapere aude!" - "Dare to know!", but this was easier said that done in a time where the Church and State imposed heavy censorship. Diderot found himself in prison for a while and Holbach himself was forced to publish books under false names and to smuggle chapters out of the country, using ruses such as having different people to copy them out to disguise his own handwriting. Diderot spent most of his life compiling the magnificent "Encyclopadie", but even something, as seemingly innocuous as listing things in alphabetical order, rather than giving precedence to certain topics, was seen as dangerous in those times.

Despite the dangers in their beliefs, the salon became famous throughout Europe. David Hume, who arrived in Paris in 1763 to take up assignment as embassy secretary, was well known for his six volume "History of England". This was seen as daring, as it would have been impossible to write such a work on French history. He was feted, as all Paris scrambled to meet him. Diderot and Holbach (by now, Rousseau had fallen out with a previous friends, as he would also fall out later with Hume), spoke excellent English.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome title- the rest is just as dense. 22 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I confess, this is not my taste; bought as a Christmas gift for my scholarly mother. Thorough, deeply embedded researched and exactly what it says on the cover.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wicked Company 10 April 2012
By S Riaz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This is an enthralling look at the Enlightenment in Pre-Revolutionary Paris and, in particular, at one of the many famous salons there - that of Baron d'Holbach. His salon was different from most, often grander salons, which were headed by ladies who wished to encourage literature. Holbach's was more of a male preserve, and he attracted free thinkers, philosophers and scientists. Along with early friends, such as Diderot and Rousseau, his house became a magnet for those thinkers and intellectuals who wished to replace religion with science. The Enlightenment battle cry was "Sapere aude!" - "Dare to know!", but this was easier said that done in a time where the Church and State imposed heavy censorship. Diderot found himself in prison for a while and Holbach himself was forced to publish books under false names and to smuggle chapters out of the country, using ruses such as having different people to copy them out to disguise his own handwriting. Diderot spent most of his life compiling the magnificent "Encyclopadie", but even something, as seemingly innocuous as listing things in alphabetical order, rather than giving precedence to certain topics, was seen as dangerous in those times.

Despite the dangers in their beliefs, the salon became famous throughout Europe. David Hume, who arrived in Paris in 1763 to take up assignment as embassy secretary, was well known for his six volume "History of England". This was seen as daring, as it would have been impossible to write such a work on French history. He was feted, as all Paris scrambled to meet him. Diderot and Holbach (by now, Rousseau had fallen out with a previous friends, as he would also fall out later with Hume), spoke excellent English. They attracted Hume to their salon, as they did other international visitors, including the actor David Garrick and the Italian Cesare Becccaria, who opposed the death penalty.

These were heady times and the group were attacking religion, were against slavery, calling for better education for girls and suggesting that humans were oppressed by religion and should be looking at The Pursuit of Happiness. However, despite all the ideas and philosophy in this book, it is really the human story of a group of men and their lives. About their relationships and the arguments between them and Rousseau, who had become a successful author in his own right and who felt persecuted. Rousseau also successfully combined sentiment with a philosophical defence of religion, which was more acceptable to the majority of people. Also, the whole group were looked on from exile, by Voltaire, afraid that his position was being usurped.

The events and circumstances were against these men, and their ideas. Yet, still they flourished and their ideas could not be repressed. These group of men were advocating ideas that were totally unacceptable at that time - they supported the American revolution and concluded sometimes that only a revolution could rid oppressed people of violence from above. Paris would see that revolution and some of the ideas which led to it, certainly emerged from the salon of Baron d'Holbach, although ultimately they were rejected by Robespierre as being too dangerous. The people who believed that freedom would come when the last King had been strangled by the last Priest's entrails, were rejected in favour of their rival Rousseau. Yet, no group of people had done so much to change the society's way of thinking and, at one time, they were the centre of the intellectual elite. Fascinating read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. As a last comment, I read the kindle edition of this book and it contained illustrations.
4.0 out of 5 stars I love Diderot 19 Nov 2013
By Howard R. Seccombe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent, readable book on the philosophes of the mid-18th century, with key figures Voltaire, Rousseau and the circle including Diderot and Holbach. Brought to life their philosophies and writings and the sort of people they were. A major theme is the way in which Voltaire won the contest for respectability, with Rousseau also very prominent, while the Diderot–Holbach circle is unfairly underrated, even today. So there is an imbalance to be corrected.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category