In 1798 Marie-Louise-Sophie de Grouchy, the former Marquise de Condorcet, published her translation into French of Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Her translation appeared in two volumes, and she appended eight Letters on Sympathy (lettres sur la sympathie) to the second volume. Karin Brown presents a critical edition of the letters; translation of the letters is provided James E. McClellan. Both show why these letters are of interest and why they, and their author, merit a wider audience in English. The book captures de Grouchy's originality, not only in comparing her to Adam Smith, but also in seeing her as someone who foreshadowed contemporary feminist ethics in powerful and surprising ways.
Karin Brown brings to light this important philosophical text from the end of the Eighteenth Century which will be valuable to scholars of the French Enlightenment, Adam Smith and the Scottish Enlightenment, Women’s Studies, and the history of women in philosophy.
James McClellan’s high quality English translation of de Grouchy’s work makes the Lettres available to a wider scholarly audience. Both Brown’s critical introduction and McClellan’s translation succeed in restoring Sophie de Grouchy’s text to its rightful place in the history of philosophy and ideas.
Deidre Dawson, Professor
Residential College in the Arts and Humanities
Michigan State University