Jean Louis Delolme

(1741—1806) political writer

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Jean Louis Delolme (often De Lolme in England) was born in Geneva and died at Seewen in the canton of Schwyz. From a family of watchmakers and lawyers, he studied law at Geneva University and practised as a lawyer from 1762 to 1768. In these years marked by constitutional conflict in Geneva, he wrote pamphlets arguing that the sovereign authority in the state was the General Council of citizens. In 1768, wishing to learn more of other constitutions, he left Geneva, travelled on the Continent and came to England in 1769. Although he made later visits to the Continent, London was his headquarters for the rest of his life. He published the original French version of his book on the English constitution in 1771 and a longer, English version in 1775. This he revised and enlarged in 1781 and also, finally, after selling the copyright, in 1784. In the next twenty years there were at least seven English editions (reprints of 1784) and eight French editions (translations of 1784). Despite the book's renown in England and abroad, neither it nor his other literary activities rescued him from lifelong poverty.


From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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