Fredericksburg Decr 5th 1822
I have within my reach, a Book entitled “Histoire Philosophique de la Révolution de France, depuis la premiere assemblée des Notables jusqu’ à la paix de Presburg; Par Ant. Fantin-Desodoards.” It is in ten Octavo Vols. and said to be the 5th edition revised and corrected by the author, and printed in 1807.—
I have not been able to find the title of this Book in any of my Catalogues. And not knowing any one near me acquainted with French literature, I have ventured to take the liberty, Sir, of intruding upon your goodness, for the purpose of enquiring the character of this work, and of the Author.—If it be indeed a philosophical history of the eventful times of which it treats and by a Competent hand, I should prize it highly; but I fear it is a Catch penny production;—or, rather that it is one of those literary mushrooms, that sprung up so abundantly in the Hot Bed of the French Revolution; and which being calculated to subserve party purposes only, have ceased to enjoy any reputation when they have ceased to be serviceable to the party that produced them
A single line on the subject, with your pardon for the liberty I have taken, will really serve and oblige,
W F. Gray
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.