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Siècle de Louis XIV (I-VI)

2015 marked the 300th anniversary of the death of Louis XIV (1638-1715), the Sun King, whose reign defined the era of the ‘Grand Siècle’ and saw France rise to become the dominant player on the European stage. To mark this anniversary, the Voltaire Foundation, in collaboration with the Centre de recherche du Château de Versailles, is publishing Voltaire’s seminal account of his reign, the Siècle de Louis XIV (1751), the first major overall account of the reign of Louis XIV.

Essai sur les mœurs et l'esprit des nations (I-IX)

Voltaire’s Essai sur les mœurs et l’esprit des nations is a monumental work which has changed the face of western historiography. Unique for its time, it encompasses in 196 chapters the history of Europe, Africa, America and Asia to cover all ages, all continents and all religions within the overall concept of a ‘universal history’. Voltaire’s approach to the writing of this history is radical and innovative: rather than recite the deeds of monarchs and religious leaders, his aim is to tell the story of human progress, in particular the progress of human reason.


Isaiah Berlin and the Enlightenment

Sir Isaiah Berlin, as he eventually became, was the leading British intellectual historian of his time. He was born in 1909 in Riga, on the western edge of the Russian Empire. To avoid the Revolution, his family moved to Britain, where the young Berlin pursued a brilliant academic career in philosophy, becoming a Fellow of All Souls College in Oxford in 1932. His many later achievements included the founding of Wolfson College, also in Oxford. As a public intellectual, he was famous as a spell-binding lecturer, much in demand for talks and broadcasts.

Correspondance de Pierre Bayle

Pierre Bayle (1647-1706) sera l’un des philosophes et hommes de lettres les plus connus et les plus universellement admirés de son siècle. Ses principaux ouvrages, surtout son Dictionnaire historique et critique, ont un énorme succès européen et seront une très riche source d’inspiration pour les philosophes des Lumières. Composée en Hollande où son protestantisme l'avait contraint à s'exiler, sa vaste correspondance, qui comprend plus de 1700 lettres, offre un aperçu unique sur les débats historiques, philosophiques, religieux, politiques et culturels de son temps.

La Comédie de mœurs sous l'ancien régime

Evoquée par toutes les histoires littéraires des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles, la comédie de mœurs n’a pourtant jamais été clairement définie, ni le corpus des pièces systématiquement identifié. C’est à cette exploration que se livre Ioana Galleron, afin de comprendre cette catégorie inconnue sous l’ancien régime et dans laquelle on a rangé tardivement certaines de ses productions.

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