A Wicked Company, by Philipp Blom @ 01:05 pm
A Wicked Company (a phrase due to Garrick, IRC) centers on the radical enlightenment crowd at Baron d'Holbach's salon, principally the Baron himself and Diderot. The book does a nice job of comparing and contrasting the Enlightenment of Voltaire and Rousseau with that of Diderot and d'Holbach. The latter are definitely more my kind of people (particularly since Rousseau turns out to have been a selfish, paranoid asshole). I enjoyed the first half or so of the book, but it was a little annoying that every time a new personage would appear, a mini-biography would ensue. But the last half came to be sort of a slog. After a time, the salon ceased to fizz with new ideas, but like this book, it went on and on.