The Confessions

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, 1953 - Biography & Autobiography - 606 pages
40 Reviews
Widely regarded as the first modern autobiography, The Confessions is an astonishing work of acute psychological insight. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) argued passionately against the inequality he believed to be intrinsic to civilized society. In his Confessions he relives the first fifty-three years of his radical life with vivid immediacy - from his earliest years, where we can see the source of his belief in the innocence of childhood, through the development of his philosophical and political ideas, his struggle against the French authorities and exile from France following the publication of Émile. Depicting a life of adventure, persecution, paranoia, and brilliant achievement, The Confessions is a landmark work by one of the greatest thinkers of the Enlightenment, which was a direct influence upon the work of Proust, Goethe and Tolstoy among others.

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Review: The Confessions (Penguin Classics)

User Review  - Steve - Goodreads

Rousseau writes an excellent book. It gives wonderful insights into the life of the 18th century French and Italian society. Read full review

Review: Confessions (World's Classics)

User Review  - Elizabeth Grubgeld - Goodreads

Hilarious without intending to be, Rousseau is wonderfully absurd when he isn't being cruel, and the narrative voice seems no wiser than his youthful self whose follies it defends so passionately. Read full review

About the author (1953)

J. M. Cohen, born in London in 1903 and a Cambridge graduate, was the author of many Penguin translations, including versions of Cervantes, Rabelais and Montaigne. For some years he assisted E. V. Rieu in editing the Penguin Classics. He collected the three books of Comic and Curious Verse and anthologies of Latin American and Cuban writing. He frequently visited Spain and made several visits to Mexico, Cuba and other Spanish American countries. With his son Mark he edited the Penguin Dictionary of Quotations and its companion Dictionary of Modern Quotations.

J. M. Cohen died in 1989. The Times' obituary described him as 'the translator of the foreign prose classics for our times' and 'one of the last great English men of letters', while the Independent wrote that 'his influence will be felt for generations to come'.
J. M. Cohen, born in London in 1903 and a Cambridge graduate, was the author of many Penguin translations, including versions of Cervantes, Rabelais and Montaigne. For some years he assisted E. V. Rieu in editing the Penguin Classics. He collected the three books of Comic and Curious Verse and anthologies of Latin American and Cuban writing. He frequently visited Spain and made several visits to Mexico, Cuba and other Spanish American countries. With his son Mark he edited the Penguin Dictionary of Quotations and its companion Dictionary of Modern Quotations.

J. M. Cohen died in 1989. The Times' obituary described him as 'the translator of the foreign prose classics for our times' and 'one of the last great English men of letters', while the Independent wrote that 'his influence will be felt for generations to come'.

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