As a scholar of the ‘other’ enlightenments, i.e. those that were not located in England or France, but rather in Spain and Italy, I have been struck by the extent to which the eighteenth-century French rhetorical style controlled the reader’s view of the world. And as a scholar of eighteenth-century encyclopedias, most of which were written in French, I have been equally surprised by how the geographical articles written in these French-language compilations helped shape national identities, as seen not only from within, but also from without. Words are powerful weapons.
Certains volumes avec notes marginales de Voltaire ont été offerts par lui à des amis. Tel est le cas d’un exemplaire de l’Introduction à la connaissance de l’esprit humain (1746), de Luc de Clapiers, marquis de Vauvenargues.
As this year’s recipient of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Travelling Award, I was able to extend my stay in the French city of La Rochelle for three weeks of study in their departmental and municipal archives in March of 2015. My research concerned the emotional experience and aftermath of the Revolution there, and specifically the patterns of trauma and emotional reconstruction that took place in the city during the Directory era (1795-1799).
Voltaire relished a good fight. But while the passions that would be invested in the Calas and La Barre affairs were to leave little room for feelings of amusement, when it came to Jean-Jacques Le Franc de Pompignan the target was ripe, the personal risk was low, and never was Voltaire in such fully gleeful form as during the years 1760-1761.
Le château de Versailles présente l'exposition Le roi est mort. Louis XIV 1715, laquelle entend donner à voir et à comprendre un rituel méconnu: celui des funérailles du Grand roi.
Enlightenment Correspondences, a two-day colloquium, took place last June at Ertegun House in Oxford. The organisers want to share a brief summary of the findings of a dream group of epistolary scholars as a thank you.