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Étienne Claude de Marivetz
MARIVETZ, Étienne Claude de, <i>Baron</i>.

MARIVETZ, Étienne Claude de, Baron.
(c1728 - 1794)

(Born: Langres, France, c1728; Died: Paris, France, 26 February 1794) French physicist.

Marivetz was the son of an extremely wealthy ice manufacturer in Dijon but later in his life he made poor investments where he lost much of his fortune. Early on he became interested in astronomy and physics, moving to Paris where he studied the sciences with great determination. A few months after the success of the Montgolfier brothers, he carried out his own aerostatic experiments. From 1784 he lived in Langres, and when the Revolution reached the town, Marivetz was sent back to Paris, where he was guillotined.

Biographical references: ABF: I 708, 122-129. Beauchamp, Biographie Moderne, 1816. Biographie Universelle. Doublet, E., "Le Baron de Marivetz (1728-94)," Procès Verbaux Séances Société des Sciences Physiques et Naturalles de Bordeaux, 1924-25, p. 15-18. ISIS, 1913-65: 2, 148. Jolibois, Emile., La Haute-Marne ancienne et moderne, dictionnaire géographique, statistique, Historique et Biographique de ce Département, précédé d'un Résumé. Paris, 1858. lxxvi, 564 p. illus., folding maps. [Reprinted, Avallon, Éditions F.E.R.N., 1967.]. Laissus, Cabinets d'Histoire Naturelle, 1964: p. 690. Le Moyne, Nicolas Toussaint., Les siecles litteraires de la France. Paris, 1800-3. 4 vols. [Reprinted, Genève, Slatkine, 1971.]. Letillois, de Mézières., Biographie générale des Champenois célèbres, morts et vivants précédée des Illustres Champenois, poème lyrique, et enrichie de plusieurs tables chronologiques. Paris, Bur. des Journal des peintres, 1836. 227 p. Nouvelle Biographie Générale (Hoefer). Poggendorff: 2, col. 55. WBI.

1. French, 1780-7.
Physique du Monde dédiée au Roi par M. le Baron de Marivetz et par M. Goussier. Paris, 1780-87.

5 vols. [Vol 1, part 1] 4°: [8], [2], CXXXII, 248 p., [2], 70 p. [Vol 2, part 1] 4°: [10], [2], V-XIV, 15-318 p. [Vol 2, part 2] 4°: [2], 210 p., folding table, 49 p., one folding table, 5 partly colored plates, pp. 73-114 (=continuation of the Dictionnaire of volume 1). [Vol 3] 4°: [2], [8], 392 p., plates VI-XIV (folding, partly colored), pp. 117-195 (=continuation of the Dictionnaire of volume 1/2). [Vol 4] 4°: [16], 554, [8] p. (=Nouveau Prospectus de l'Ouvrage Intitulé Physique de Monde), pp. 197-201 (=continuation of the Dictionnaire of volumes 1-3), 43 p., (=Explication des Planches), plates XV-XX (folding, partly colored). [Vol 5, part 1] 4°: [4], IV, [4], XV, [1], 8, 65, [1] p., one plate, 92, 344, [4] p. [Vol 5, part 2] 4°: xxxi, [1], 468 p., pp. [73]-201, [2], [1]-4 p., l. 5-17, pp. 18-49, [2] p. Page size: 250 x 210 mm.

Rare. This is the only and unfinished edition of an ambitious project that ultimately bankrupted the author. Prepared in collaboration with Louis Jacques Goussier [see note below], it includes 20 partly hand-colored plates in folio that includes very good renderings of a microscope, a camera obscura, a telescope, and astronomical systems. The work's scope was to provide a description and general theory of physical geography by developing the theory from principals of celestial physics. Thus in this cosmogony Marivetz would attempt to explain the earth's and particularly France's geography and physical history and attempt through the framework of their theory to forecast future events. Hoefer calls the work very rare because the unsold copies were confiscated during the Revolution and destroyed after Marivetz's execution. The work was never completed and ended with the publication of the second part of volume five.

Volume contents: Tome Premier, Polemique, les cosmogenies et systemes de la terre. Tome Second, Physique celeste, tableau du ciel et un traité des planetes, des etoiles et de la pesanteur. Tome Troisieme, Lumiere, de l'optique, des telescopes. Tome Quatrieme, De la vision et des couleurs. Tome Cinquieme, Sur le feu.

Louis-Jacques Goussier. (Born: Paris, France, 7 March 1722; Died: Paris, France, 23 October 1799) French mathematician. Goussier was a professor of mathematics in Paris. He supervised the technical plates of the Encyclopedie by Diderot and d'Alembert.

Bibliographical references: BL [32.b.6-12.]. LKG: XIII 144***. NUC. Taylor, Kenneth L., "Marivetz, Goussier, and planet earth: A late enlightenment geo-physical project," Centaurus, 48 (2006), no. 4, p. 258-283. (Goussier) ABF: I 470, 446-447. Biographie Universelle. DBF: ??, ??. Le Moyne, Nicolas Toussaint., Les siecles litteraires de la France. Paris, 1800-3. 4 vols. [Reprinted, Genève, Slatkine, 1971.]. Nouvelle Biographie Générale (Hoefer). Poggendorff: 1, col. 933. Thieme & Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon, 1907-50: ??. WBI.

2. French, 1786.
Observations sur quelques objets d'utilité publique, pour servir de Prospectus à la seconde Partie de la Physique du Monde, ou à la Carte Hydrographique de la France, & au Traité général de la Navigation intérieure de ce Royaume. Paris, Visse, 1786.

8°: [4], 297, [2] p.

Rare. Calling itself a prospectus this is a strange book being a long advertisement for the author's La Physique des Gens du Monde (5 vols., Paris, 1780-7) and partly a work of science and economics. Some of the chapter headings are: "Plan d'un nouveau régime pour l'Administration des Ponts & Chaussées," "Observations sommaires sur les Corvées," "Sur la Machine de Marly," "Canal de Berry," "Aqueduc de Maintenon," "Lettre sur la maniere de bâtir des Grecs & des Romains," and "Dérivation de la Loire." There are two further chapters describing the contents of past and future volumes of La Physique des Gens du Monde.

Bibliographical references: Internet search. LKG: XIV 336****.

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