Mandeville Studies

New Explorations in the Art and Thought of Dr. Bernard Mandeville (1670–1733)

  • Irwin Primer

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. On Some of Mandeville’s Minor Writings

  3. Religion and Ethics

  4. Politics and Society

    1. H. T. Dickinson
      Pages 80-97
  5. Mandeville in Relation to Some Other Writers

    1. John Robert Moore
      Pages 119-125
    2. A. Owen Aldridge
      Pages 142-156
  6. Style, Satire and Paradox

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 212-223

About this book


For centuries readers have admired the writer who wields his pen like a sword - an Aristophanes, a Rabelais, a Montaigne, a Swift. Using ribaldry, satire and irony in varying proportions, such writers pierce the thick, comfortable hide of society and uncover, predictably, the corruption and hypocrisy that characterize the life of man in commercial society. Though a lesser talent than any of these literary giants, Bernard Mande­ ville is nevertheless a member of their class. The crucial year in the emergence of his reputation was 1723, the year in which he added his controversial Essay on Charity and Charity-Schools to his Fable of the Bees. From that point on he became one of the most reviled targets of the public guardians of morality and religion; for some he appeared to be truly the Devil incarnate, Mandevil, as Fielding and others spelled it. This reputation was attached to his name well into the nineteenth centu­ ry. In a diary entry for June 1812 Henry Crabb Robinson recorded the following conversation with the elderly Mrs. Buller: "She received me with a smile, and allowed me to touch her hand. 'What are you reading, Mr. Robinson?' she said. 'The wickedest cleverest book in the English language, if you chance to know it. ' - 'I have known the "Fable of the Bees" more than fifty years. ' She was right in her guess.


1670–1733 Bernard Mandeville Utopia Voltaire individual

Editors and affiliations

  • Irwin Primer
    • 1
  1. 1.Rutgers UniversityNewarkUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1975
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-010-1635-3
  • Online ISBN 978-94-010-1633-9
  • Series Print ISSN 0066-6610
  • Buy this book on publisher's site