Louis-Sébastien Mercier Bibliography

Jenneval 1767
Adapted from George Lillo’s London Merchant; Jenneval though published in 1767 was not performed until 1781.
Songes et visions philosophiques 1768
L’An 2440 1770
This moralising fantasy, in which absolute monarchy and the established church are imagined away in favour of patriot kingship and natural religion, became the most best-selling work in pre-revolutionary France. (It was not, as most scholars have thought, Rousseau’s SocialContract.)
Le Déserteur 1770
Antimilitarist drama that was not performed until 1782.
Jean Hennuyer évêque de Lisieux (Jean Hennuyer, Bishop of Lisieux) 1772
One of two historical dramas Mercier wrote about the French religious wars, the other was La Destruction de la ligue (1782, The Destruction of the League). They were both so anticlerical and antimonarchical that they were not performed until after the Revolution.
Le Faux Ami (The False Friend) 1772
Nouvel essai sur l’art dramatique 1773
Élargissez l’art - set art free!” Mercier emphasized the didactic nature of the theatre and criticized the artificiality of traditional French tragedy. He wrote about 60 plays and was nicknamed “Le Singe (Ape) de Jean-Jacques” because he was strongly influenced by Rousseau’s views. A moderate member of the Convention he opposed the death penalty for Louis XVI and was imprisoned during the Terror but released after Robespierre’s death.
La Brouette de vinaigrier (The Barrel-Load of the Vinegar Merchant) 1775
Social comedy.
De la litérature et des littérateurs 1778
Tableau de Paris 1781
Published in two volumes in 1781 and then in twelve volumes between 1782-89, the Tableau is Mercier’s best-known work; it consists of a collection of short philosophical reflections, satirical comments on the mores of the day, journalistic pieces and gossip.
Néologie 1801