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“At Best an Echo”: Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Translation Strategies in the History of Economics

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  • Evelyn L. Forget

Abstract

Latin receded as the common language of the Republic of Letters as the eighteenth century unfolded, ushering in a new and expanded role for translation. However, international copyright legislation was nonexistent, which offered translators freedom to take liberties with the text. This article examines four women—Emilie du Châtelet, Sophie de Grouchy, Clémence Royer, and Harriet Martineau—who translated political economy between English and French from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries, and it argues that these translators saw their work as an opportunity to contribute to the scientific conversation in their own right as they commented on the original texts and made significant and often unacknowledged adjustments to the texts. They invariably appealed to a broader audience than did the original authors, and they used the same tools and techniques as did such popularizers of political economy as Jane Marcet.

Suggested Citation

  • Evelyn L. Forget, 2010. "“At Best an Echo”: Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Translation Strategies in the History of Economics," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 42(4), pages 653-677, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:42:y:2010:i:4:p:653-677
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