18. See Le Gras, Diderot et l’Encyclopédie, and Wilson, Diderot, pp. 73 ff., for the history of the Encyclopedia before Diderot and d’Alembert took over the leadership of the project. Originally in 1745 it was intended to be a mere translation of the Chambers work with some corrections and additions. This project was announced in a Prospectus in the year 1745 and highly praised by the Journal de Trévoux. There followed a complicated and sometimes humorous sequence of difficulties and changes of direction before Diderot at last assumed its editorship.

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