With patterned Russian endpapers

[D’AGOULT, Charles (Attrib.)]

Akh, kak vy glupy gospoda frantsuzy

[Oh, How Stupid You Are Mr Frenchmen].

Publication: Reshetnikov, Moskva, 1793.

[D’AGOULT, Charles (Attrib.)], Akh, kak vy glupy gospoda frantsuzy

Attractive example of this scarce anti-revolutionary tract, published when Catherine the Great was distancing herself from some consequences of the French philosophers’ thoughts. In contemporary binding ith zig-zag Russian endpapers.

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Our Notes & References

Attractive example of this anti-revolutionary tract, first published in Paris in 1790 as Bon Dieu! Qu’ils sont bêtes ces Français! This work takes a strong stance against the free-thinking works of Voltaire, and what are seen as the sacrilegious ideas of the French Materialist philosophers – a standpoint that tied in well with the ideological conservatism of the Russian church and state.

The French Revolution aroused strong reactions in Russia, particularly among the government and ruling elite, for whom the message of liberty and equality presented a deep existential threat. The violent aftermath of the revolt was roundly condemned, and Louis was officially proclaimed a royal martyr. Such was the anti-French feeling in Russia during this period that there were even book burnings staged in Saint Petersburg and Moscow.

This Russian edition was translated from the German (strangely enough) by Ivan Fedorovich Vensovich (1769-1811), a student in the medical department of Imperial Moscow University. Vensovich later went on to become a professor of medicine at the university.

Very rare: the list of subscribers accounts for only 68 copies, mostly to Russian nobility, unusually including a few women (Naryshkina among others). Worldcat locates only two microfilm copies (Harvard and Ohio) outside Russia.


Red stamp to title (unidentified; armorial?); Russian purchase note in ink to upper fly-leaf, dated 3/15 April 1869.


Sopikov 2089; Svod. Kat. 354.

Item number



Physical Description

Octavo (18.8 x 11.5 cm). 193 pp. including title within decorative border and list of subscribers, and [2] pp. of errata at end; very occasional light soiling, title with offsetting from pencil notes on opposite fly-leaf, one leaf with small tear in gutter without loss. Contemporary Russian calf, flat spine decorated in compartments, red morocco label lettered in Cyrillics, decorated endpapers in zigzags red and blue, red edges; rubbed and scratched, hinges tender.

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