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Letters of Certain Jews to Monsieur Voltaire, Containing an Apology for Their Own People and for the Old Testament. Translated by the Rev. Philip Lefanu.
First American Edition. Two volumes in one. Printed on blue tinted paper.
Signed On Title-Page: Simon Gratz, 1817. pp. 519, (3). Ex-library, lightly foced, Contemporary calf, rubbed and worn. 8vo. Singerman 094.
Philadelphia, William Young, 1795.
The French Enlightenment thinker Voltaire (1694-1778) was well-known for his defense of free speech and his aversion to organized religion. Indeed, he wrote numerous searing criticisms of religion and the Bible and was consequently accused of anti-Semitism.
This volume contains a collection of letters sent by contemporary Jews to Voltaire responding to his attacks. Though the collection’s purpose is to provide religious Americans (specifically Christians) with defenses against attacks from skeptics, the letters also touch upon varied Jewish topics.