1 Life and work 2 Family
2.1 Value of Chardin's work
3 French-language biographies of Chardin 4 See also 5 Further reading 6 References 7 External links
Life and work
He was born in Paris, son of a wealthy merchant, jeweller of the Place
Dauphine, and followed his father's business. In 1664, he started for
the East Indies with M. Raisin, a
Frontiscipe of Voyage du Chevalier Chardin en Perse et autres lieux de l'Orient, 1739.
Of four volumes originally projected the first volume was published in 1686, Journal du Voyage . . . de Chardin en Parse et aux Indes Orientales, London, fol. An English translation was issued concurrently. This volume contains the author's journey from Paris to Ispahan, and has the author's half-length portrait by Loggan, with eighteen copper plates, mostly folding. His former work is reprinted there with a fulsome 'Epistle Dedicatory to James II.' Chardin in his preface announced three other volumes to follow. The last, which was to contain a short history of Persia, along with his diaries for 1675–77, never appeared. The other three volumes (with many additions to the first) were published at Amsterdam, 1711, 4to, Voyages de Mons. le Chevalier Chardin, as the complete work. In 1711 another edition, with his translation of La Relation des Mingreliens, by J. M, Zampi, appeared in ten vols., Amsterdam, l2mo; and in 1735 another edition was published in four vols. 4to, containing a great number of passages added from his manuscripts, but with many omissions of violent Calvinistic passages. The most complete reprint is that of M. L. Langles, in ten vols. 8vo, Paris, 1811. Chardin's style of writing is simple and graphic, and he gives a faithful account of what he saw and heard. Montesquieu, Rousseau, Gibbon, and Helvetius acknowledge the value of his writings; and Sir William Jones says he gave the best account of Mahometan nations ever published. Extracts from his works appear in all the chief collections of travels, but there is no complete English translation. In 1681, Chardin determined to settle in England because of the persecution of Protestants in France. He was well received at court, and was soon after appointed court jeweller. He was knighted by Charles II at Whitehall, 17 November 1681. The same day he married a Protestant lady, Esther, daughter of M. de Lardinière Peigné, councillor in the Parliament of Rouen, then a refugee in London. He carried on a considerable trade in jewels, and in the correspondence of his time was called 'the flower of merchants.' In 1682, when he lived in Holland House, Kensington, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. In 1684, the king sent him as envoy to Holland, where he stayed some years, was styled agent to the East India Company. On his return to London he devoted most of his time to oriental studies. In the prefaces to his works, 1686 and 1711, besides travels he speaks of what he calls 'my favourite desipi,' or 'Notes upon Passages of to the Holy Scriptures, illustrated by Eastern ally Customs and Manners,' as having occupied his time for many years. He did not live after to publish it, and after his death the manuscript was supposed to be lost. Some of his descendants advertised a reward of twenty guineas for it. When Thomas Harmer published a second edition of his, 'Observations on divers pissages of Scripture,' 2 vols., London, 1776, 8vo, it was found that by the help of Sir Philip Musgrave, a descendant of Chardin, he had recovered the lost manuscript in six small volumes, and had incorporated almost all of them in his work, under the author's name, or signed 'MS. C.,' i.e. manuscript of Chardin. In his latter years Chardin lived at Turnin. Sir John died in Chiswick, London in 1713. He was buried in Turnham Green (Chiswick). A funeral monument to Chardin exists in Westminster Abbey, bearing the inscription Sir John Chardin – nomen sibi fecit eundo ("he made a name for himself by travelling"). The remains of Chardin's library were sold by James Levy at Tom's coffee-house, St. Martin's Lane, 1712–13. Family
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He had three sons and two daughters. His eldest son, John, was created a baronet 1720 and died unmarried. He had two others, Daniel and Charles. He left his large Kempton Manor House and estate, Sunbury on Thames to his nephew Sir Philip Chardin Musgrave. Value of Chardin's work
1988 Dover edition of Chardin's Travels
Modern scholars consider the 1711 edition of Voyages (edited by the
Orientalist Louis-Mathieu Langlès) to be the standard version. The
complete book has never been translated into English; in fact,
English-language versions contain less than half of the original
Early readers commended Chardin's work for its fullness and fidelity,
and he received praise from a number of Enlightenment thinkers, among
them Montesquieu, Rousseau,
France-Iran relations Franco-Persian alliance Chardin baronets
^ a b c d e f g h Gibson 1887.
^ Amazon listing for Chardin le Persan
^ Le Joaillier d'
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gibson, John Westby (1887). "Chardin, John". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography. 10. London: Smith, Elder & Co. External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jean Chardin.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Chardin, Sir John". Encyclopædia Britannica. 5 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 857. John Emerson's biography of Chardin in Encyclopaedia Iranica. Partial extracts from Dirk Van der Cruysse's Chardin le Persan, Fayard, Paris, 1998.
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