Assume that Montesquieu was trying to send a message to his readers about French politics under the Bourbon monarchy when he published The Persian Letters in 1721. Was it a message of reform, i.e., did he think it was possible to correct the flaws in the system left behind by Louis XIV at his death in 1715? Or was he suggesting something more radical?

Could someone provide me with some details on Montesquieu's intellectual formation, the censorship he faced and to what social class did he belong. How can I show that he is developing a measured critique but carrying the seed for more radical repercussions ?

  • Intriguing question. You may want to revise it to avoid asking for references (reference requests are problematic for H:SE; but I think you're really looking for the information, and the references should arise as a result of providing the information). It would also help if you cited your preliminary research so that we don't merely recapitulate what you've already found. – Mark C. Wallace Sep 17 '14 at 12:27
  • @MarkC.Wallace That is actually my issue. I don't know what sources I should use. I stuck to the text of Lettres Persanes and used another book called "History of France" by Jacques Bainville in which he explains the situation of France under Louis XIV and Louis XV in two of its chapters – John Sep 17 '14 at 12:46
  • Please consult How to Ask and Requests for Sources. Requests for sources are out of scope. But I think if you ask for the information you need, you'll be fine. People should cite their source material in the answer. – Mark C. Wallace Sep 17 '14 at 13:13
  • @MarkC.Wallace I edited my question – John Sep 17 '14 at 13:23
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    Well, for most of your questions (say Montesquieu's background) you could start with Wikipedia. Otherwise, The Spirit of Laws will tell you if he believed radical measure were needed or not (and the answer is not). – Olivier Sep 17 '14 at 19:16

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