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Cultural transfers

France and Britain in the long eighteenth century

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Ann Thomson, Simon Burrows and Edmond Dziembowski
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About the Book

About the Book: 

Cultural transfers between eighteenth-century France and Britain did much to shape the intellectual identity of each nation. But what were the main channels of communication? How did they function? What was their impact?

In Cultural transfers: France and Britain in the long eighteenth century a team of specialists focuses on the networks and correspondences on which these exchanges were based, the concrete form they took and the material, political or ideological constraints which governed them. Particular attention is paid to the roles of:

• intermediaries such as diplomats, scientific institutions, or the Huguenot exiles who played a crucial part in disseminating English scientific, theological and political writings

• gazettes, learned periodicals, and government-sponsored journals where the French learned about British political debates and institutions

• translators, who could significantly alter texts in line with their own preconceptions and agendas or the expectations of their readers

This multidisciplinary book moves beyond the classic concern with ‘influences’ of one author or culture on another. It presents a new understanding of the hidden international networks that sustained the Republic of Letters and of the synthesis that emerged through contacts and interaction between French and British culture.

Ann Thomson and Simon Burrows, Introduction

I. Correspondence and networks

Rachel Hammersley, The ‘Real Whig’– Huguenot network and the English Republican tradition

Elizabeth Grist, Pierre Des Maizeaux and the Royal Society

Charles-Édouard Levillain, La correspondance diplomatique dans l’Europe moderne (c.1550-c.1750): problèmes de méthode et tentative de définition

Joanna Craigwood, Diplomats and international book exchange

Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire, Quand les francs-maçons signent des traités diplomatiques: circulations et échanges maçonniques entre France et Angleterre (1765-1775)

James Livesey, London by the light of Montpellier: scientific networks between Britain, northern Europe and the Languedoc (1706-1789)

Mariana Saad, Le réseau franco-britannique du Recueil Duquesnoy

Jean-François Dunyach, Les réseaux d’un excentrique: vies et parcours de William Playfair (1759-1823)

II. Journalism

Claire Crignon-de Oliveira, Le rôle des périodiques dans la diffusion du savoir médical en France et en Grande-Bretagne (fin dix-septième – dix-huitième siècle)

Delphine Soulard, Les journalistes du Refuge et la diffusion de la pensée politique de John Locke auprès du public francophone dès la fin du dix-septième siècle

Ann Thomson, In defence of toleration: La Roche’s Bibliothèque angloise and Mémoires littéraires de la Grande-Bretagne

Edmond Dziembowski, Le peuple français instruit: Edme-Jacques Genet et la traduction des écrits politiques britanniques pendant la guerre de Sept Ans

Simon Burrows, The Courier de l’Europe as an agent of cultural transfer (1776-1791)

III. Translation

Stéphane Jettot, La compréhension et la traduction des débats parlementaires à Londres par les diplomates de Louis XIV

Ann Thomson, Des Maizeaux, Collins and the translators: the case of Collins’ Philosophical inquiry concerning human liberty

Pierre Lurbe, Traduire, trahir, se trahir: le cas du Pantheisticon de John Toland

Michel Malherbe, Hume en France: la traduction des Political discourses

Mark Curran, The Société typographique de Neuchâtel and networks of trade and translation in eighteenth-century francophone Europe

Emmanuelle de Champs, An introduction to utilitarianism: early French translations of Bentham’s Introduction to the principles of morals and legislation



Quinzaine littéraire

Il est impensable que par sa richesse, sa valeur documentaire et ses avancées méthodologiques ce livre ne suscite pas des vocations.

Modern Language Review

Scholars expect the highest standards of scholarship to appear in SVEC volumes. This collection will by no means disappoint. It will be invaluable to all researchers working in the field of cross-Channel exchanges, and of great interest to dix-huitiémistes more generally.

French Studies

the contributions draw our attention to a fascinating range of concrete instances situated in the nooks and crannies of cultural history that form the inner life of the macro-history of cultural transfers and development. This collection of articles constitutes a valuable contribution to the field of comparative and interdisciplinary studies of European history of ideas and cultural development.