Open main menu

1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Formey, Johann Heinrich Samuel

FORMEY, JOHANN HEINRICH SAMUEL (1711–1797), Franco-German author, was born of French parentage at Berlin on the 31st of May 1711. He was educated for the ministry, and at the age of twenty became pastor of the French church at Brandenburg. Having in 1736 accepted the invitation of a congregation in Berlin, he was in the following year chosen professor of rhetoric in the French college of that city and in 1739 professor of philosophy. On the organization of the academy of Berlin in 1744 he was named a member, and in 1748 became its perpetual secretary. He died at Berlin on the 7th of March 1797. His principal works are La Belle Wolfienne (1741–1750, 6 vols.), a kind of novel written with the view of enforcing the precepts of the Wolfian philosophy; Bibliothèque critique, ou mémoires pour servir à l’histoire littéraire ancienne et moderne (1746); Le Philosophe chrétien (1750); L’Émile chrétien (1764), intended as an answer to the Émile of Rousseau; and Souvenirs d’un citoyen (Berlin, 1789). He also published an immense number of contemporary memoirs in the transactions of the Berlin Academy.