The Voltaire and Rousseau Bookshop,Glasgow
Today is my birthday and I am off to the Somme Battlefields in France with the Somme Association. of which I am the Founder and Chairman.
But today is also the 300th birthday of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau ( 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism of French expression. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.
His novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise on the education of the whole person for citizenship. His sentimental novel Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse was of importance to the development of pre-romanticism and romantism in fiction. Rousseau’s autobiographical writings—his Confessions, which initiated the modern autobiography, and his Reveries of a Solitary Walker—exemplified the late 18th-century movement known as the Age of Sensibility, featuring an increasing focus on subjectivity and introspection that has characterized the modern age. His Discourse on the Origin of Inequality and his On the Social Contract are cornerstones in modern political and social thought.
Rousseau was a successful composer of music. He wrote seven operas as well as music in other forms, and he made contributions to music as a theorist.
During the period of the French Revolution, Rousseau was the most popular of the philosophes among members of the Jacobin Club. Rousseau, a Freemason,was interred as a national hero in the Panthéon in Paris in 1794, 16 years after his death.
For several years I have accompanied Rev Dr Ian Paisley, the Lord Bannside, to Glasgow . We always visit the Voltaire and Rousseau Bookshop there.The best bookshop in Glasgow, this is an Aladdin’s Cave of curiosities, with thousands of reasonably priced books piled high in no discernible order. It is fair to say that, whilst you will probably never find what you are looking for, you are almost guaranteed to find three other books that are equally fascinating. The shop consists of two parts, an entrance where everything is £1 and the main shop where books upon books cover every surface. Located Otago Lane, it is near to Tchai Ovna, a wonderful Czech tea house where you can go to browse your bargains.We certainly did.