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Philippe-Denis Pierres


  1. Articles de confédération translation publisher
  2. Constitutions des treize États-Unis de l'Amérique translation has other edition publisher
  3. Déclaration de l'indépendance translation publisher
  4. La folle journée, ou, Le mariage de Figaro. Comédie en cinq actes, en prose has translation publisher
  5. Notes on the State of Virginia, written in the year 1781, somewhat corrected and enlarged in the winter of 1782, for the use of a Foreigner of distinction, in answer to certain queries proposed by him: [Bound with] Draught of a Fundamental Constitution for the Commonwealth of Virginia has translation publisher
  6. Préliminaire de la Constitution française, reconnaissance et exposition raisonnée des droits de l'homme & du citoyen has translation publisher



Pierres' operation moved between Paris and Versailles between 1767–1807, being based at rue St. Jacques (1766-1790); Hôtel des Menus (-Plaisirs), Versailles (1788), 23 & 29 rue Saint-Honoré, Versailles (1789–1790 & 1807), 23 rue de la Paix, Versailles (1793–1800), 335 rue des Mathurins (1805). From 1766 he sometimes collaborated with his mother, the veuve de Denis-Antoine Pierres.

Pierres was the son and nephew of two Parisian publishers, Denis-Antoine Pierres and Augustin-Martin Lottin, with whom he did his apprenticeship, his father having died before he was born. After being licensed in 1763 he continued to hone his trade with his great uncle, Pierre-Gilles Le Mercier whose business he took over in 1768. Named imprimeur du Grand Conseil (1769) and to the King (1779), he printed the first French translations of the Constitutions of the United States (1783), and was appointed "premier imprimeur ordinaire du Roi" in 1785, as well becoming printer to the police, the postal service and the Royal Society of Medicine. Invited by the Royal Academy of Sciences to compose a work on the art of printing, L’Art de l’imprimerie (1774), he was also a member of the Academies of Dijon, Lyon, Orléans and Rouen.

Renowned for the quality of the books he produced, he was the author of many works on typography and redesigned the printing press, presenting Louis XVI in 1784 with a new model without the traditional screw and bar, making it less fatiguing to operate. According to the publisher, Charles Joseph Panckoucke, "The King, having examined all its parts with the greatest attention, desired to print on this small model himself and, delighted by the ease and beauty of this trial, ordered for his amusement an identical model, whose inventor had the honour of paying tribute to His Majesty".

In 1788, Pierres moved to Versailles after being made the official publisher for the Assembly of Notables, selling his Parisian bookshop in 1792. In trouble with the authorities in January 1794 for publishing alleged counter-revolutionary works, possibly sponsored by the police. In 1804, he was tasked by the minister of Justice to write a report on the reorganisation of publishing in France. In 1807, he sold his Versailles operation and took up a position with the postal service in Dijon until his death a year later.

For his links with Franklin and de La Rochefoucauld, see https://franklinpapers.org/framedNames.jsp?ssn=001-42-0033.