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Rousseau was born in Geneva the son of a watchmaker His mother died shortly after his birth and his aunt and uncle raised him At 16 he set out on into the world which brought him into contact with Louise de Warens who became his patron and later his lover She arranged for his trip to Turin where he became a Roman Catholic convert After serving as a footman in a powerful family he left Turin and spent most of the next dozen years at Chambry In 1742 he went to Paris to make his fortune with a new system of musical notation but he failed Once in Paris however he became friends with Denis Diderot Diderot later commissioned Rousseau to write articles on music for Diderots Encyclopedia In 1749 Rousseau won first prize in a contest held by the Academy of Dijon on the question Has the progress of the sciences and arts contributed to the corruption or to the improvement of human conduct In 1765 he was expelled from Bern and accepted the invitation of David Hume to live at his house in England there he began to write the first part of his Confessions but after a year he quarreled violently with Hume whom he believed to be in league with Diderot and Grimm and returned to France in 1767 After wandering through the provinces he finally settled in Paris where he lived in a garret and copied music The French authorities left him undisturbed while curious foreigners flocked to see the famous man and be insulted by him At the same time he went from salon to salon reading his Confessions aloud In his last years he began Rveries du promeneur solitaire descriptions of nature and his thoughts about it which was unfinished at the time of his death Shortly before his death Rousseau moved to the house of a protector at Ermenonville near Paris where he died In 1794 his
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