Diderot and the Body

Angelica Goodden

Legenda (General Series)


1 July 2001  •  220pp

ISBN: 1-900755-56-4 (paperback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85


Diderot's lifelong preoccupation with the body is expressed in every aspect of his work -- philosophical, ethical, emotional, psychological, aesthetic and literary. Even when discussing bodies at the highest level of abstraction, he still focuses on them as material entities above all; this concern with tangible realities gives his writing its celebrated concreteness and human appeal. In her original and illuminating study, Goodden deals with Diderot's views on the body-mind relationship, anatomical matters, ethical extensions of the body, the expressive, the sensual and the sexual body, drawing evidence from his scientific and philosophical writings, fiction, art criticism, dramatic works and correspondence.

Angelica Goodden is Fellow and Tutor in French at St Hilda's College, Oxford. Her previous books include Actio and Persuasion: Dramatic Performance in Eighteenth-Century France (1986), The Complete Lover: Eros, Nature and Artifice in the Eighteenth-Century French Novel (1989) and The Sweetness of Life: A Biography of Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1997).


  • ‘Vorremmo sottolineare anche la bellezza del titolo del volume di A. Goodden, titolo elegante nella sua apparente essenzialità ma al tempo stesso anticpatore di uno studio richissimo e interessante.’ — Paola Perazzolo, Studi francesi 139, 2003, 174
  • ‘Welcome, in that it deals comprehensively with a subject which has lurked, half-hidden, in many previous studies of Diderot, often noticed but never fully confronted... Sends one back to grapple yet again with this most protean of philisophes.’ — D. J. Adams, French Studies LVII.2, 2003, 236-7
  • ‘A richly interesting study, written with Angelica Goodden's characteristic vigour, which illuminates both Diderot's works and a wide range of eighteenth-century literature and thought.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies XL.1, 2004, 104
  • ‘An eminently readable, coherent and cogent volume which captures the profundity, wisdom, humanity, excesses, sensuality, and frailty of Diderot, both the man and the writer.’ — Roseann Runte, French Review 77/4, March 2004, 783

Bibliography entry:

Goodden, Angelica, Diderot and the Body (Legenda, 2001)

First footnote reference: 35 Angelica Goodden, Diderot and the Body (Legenda, 2001), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Goodden, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Goodden, Angelica. 2001. Diderot and the Body (Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Goodden 2001: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Goodden 2001: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

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