In this chapter I will give an account of the principal episodes of Rousseau’s life, and offer a picture of its general shape. I will then give an outline of his central works but also of other works not studied closely in this book, so that an overall idea of the totality of his output can be obtained. Finally, I will develop further those key ideas I sketched in the Introduction as providing the dominant themes that give this discussion of Rousseau’s work its direction and focus.