Feeling hemmed in by narrow frontiers? Harassed by the ‘natives’ for being interested in the world outside? Feeling cut off from Europe, not to speak of bleak political circumstances and ominous financial predictions?
L’inscription des poésies d’André Chénier au programme de l’Agrégation de Lettres modernes relève du roman.
Il est de ces textes du corpus voltairien qui passent relativement inaperçus aujourd’hui, malgré leur succès au dix-huitième siècle.
What can we learn from the physical materials that make up books and manuscripts? ‘Science and the love of books’ in all their animal, vegetable and mineral glory.
The markings – marginal notes, underlinings, bookmarks, turned down corners – on the books in Voltaire’s vast library bear witness to his thinking. The Corpus des notes marginales reproduces them alongside the extracts to which they relate. Comprehensive editorial notes show how Voltaire’s reading influenced his writing.
The Questions sur l’Encyclopédie stands as Voltaire’s longest work, and yet it is one of his least known.
In this complete critical edition, scholars explore fully for the first time the relationship between the Questions and its named object of enquiry – Diderot and D’Alembert’s Encyclopédie. They also assess the complex techniques by which Voltaire fashions new material through extensive copying and borrowing from his earlier publications.
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.
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.
The unpredictability of the reading public makes literary reception a chancy affair. In the very loud and crowded market of ideas of the French Enlightenment, the rhetorical gesture of address underscored the vulnerability and power of the modern writer.