The Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (unabridged)

Audio Sample

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Read by Jonathan Keeble


Published four years after Rousseau’s death, Confessions is a remarkably frank self-portrait, described by Rousseau as ‘the history of my soul’. From his idyllic youth in the Swiss mountains, to his career as a composer in Paris and his abandonment of his children, Rousseau lays bare his entire life with preternatural honesty. He relates his scandals, follies, jealousies, sexual exploits and unrequited loves, as well as the torrential events surrounding his controversial works Discourses, Émile and The Social Contract, which led to his persecution and wanderings in exile. Confessions provides an invaluable window into the making of the man, the society he lived in, and the development of ideas that would have a profound influence on philosophers and political theorists to come.

  • Running Time: 28 h 56 m

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    Digital ISBN:978-1-78198-328-7
    Cat. no.:NA0468
    Produced by:Neil Rosser
    Edited by:Sarah Butcher
    BISAC:BIO007000, BIO009000
    Released:October 2020
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Judging by his own account, Rousseau must have been a difficult man to know. Irritable, paranoid and egomaniacal, he is nonetheless portrayed on his own terms by narrator Jonathan Keeble in this audio version of one of the first autobiographies. It would be easy to dismiss many of Rousseau’s claims about his former friends conspiring against him, or to tone down his anger, or to exaggerate to the point of parody his irritation with humanity’s inability to live up to his standards. Keeble, however, simply takes the man as he was, and as he attempts to present himself in this work. There is some question as to the absolute truth of what Rousseau wrote, but not of the truth of this performance.

D.M.H., AudioFile

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