The last of the great Enlightenment encyclopedias, Charles Joseph Panckoucke’s Encyclopédie méthodique was originally conceived as an innovative revision of the Encyclopédie and the Supplément. Arranged in a series of subject-specific dictionaries, it began to appear in 1782 and was completed 50 years later, boasting 203 volumes of text and plates produced by many eminent editors and contributors. Kathleen Hardesty Doig’s book is the first to compare the genealogy of the Méthodique with its predecessors as a means to understanding Panchoucke’s original vision for his work. Through careful examination of each volume of the Méthodique, the author explores for instance:
'Kathleen Hardesty Doig has produced the first monograph studying the Encyclopédie méthodique in its entirety. [...] applying qualitative and quantitative comparisons of content, [she] is more concerned with the Méthodique’s textuality than with its materiality.'
The British journal for the history of science
‘Doig has produced an imposing empirical study whose large amount of detail makes it an indispensable tool for future studies of the Encyclopédie méthodique’. New Perspectives on the Eighteenth Century
‘This deeply researched work explores the construction of Panckoucke's innovative enterprise. It sheds new light on the emergence and development of the disciplines as well as their respective boundaries and interrelations. The breadth of Kathleen Doig’s scholarship is remarkable.’
Robert J. Morrissey, University of Chicago
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