Œuvres de 1753-1757 (II)

Mélanges de 1756

Author: Voltaire

Volume: 45B

Series: Œuvres complètes de Voltaire

Volume Editors: Michel Mervaud, Jean Dagen, et al.

Publication Date: 2010

Pages: 514

ISBN: 978-0-7294-0945-2

Price: £110


The new edition of Voltaire’s works produced by Cramer in 1756 in close collaboration with the author contained, in volumes 4 and 5, ‘Mélanges de littérature, d’histoire et de philosophie’. Alongside significant works previously published were a number of new texts, some related, some standing alone, that reflect not only Voltaire’s perennial interests, but a new way of presenting them in short articles or ‘petits chapitres’, as he referred to them. These new texts form the major part of this volume 45B of the Œuvres complètes de Voltaire.

Table of contents

Des langues (Michel Mervaud) Jusqu’à quel point on doit tromper le peuple (Jean Dagen) Les Deux Consolés (Michel Cambou) [Timon] Sur le paradoxe que les sciences ont nui aux mœurs (Mark Waddicor) Des Juifs (Marie-Hélène Cotoni) Du siècle de Constantin, De Dioclétien, De Constantin, De Julien (Laurence Macé) Lettre sur le Dante (David Williams) De la chimère du souverain bien (Christophe Paillard) De la population d’Amérique (Jacqueline Hellegouarc’h) Histoire des voyages de Scarmentado (Philip Stewart) Des génies, De l’astrologie, De la magie, Des possédés (Nicholas Cronk, Basil Guy, Jacqueline Hellegouarc’h, Michel Mervaud) D’Ovide, De Socrate (Jean Mayer) Dialogues entre Lucrèce et Posidonius (Jean Mayer) [Notice autobiographique] (Jacqueline Hellegouarc’h, Jessica Goodman) Préface des éditeurs, Lettre de M. de Voltaire aux éditeurs de la première édition de Genève (David Williams) Appendice: Deux prospectus des Cramer (Nicholas Cronk) ’Vers au roi de Prusse’ (1756): supplement to the edition published in OCV, vol.45A (David Adams) ’Poème sur le désastre de Lisbonne’: addenda to the edition published in OCV, vol.45A (David Adams)


French Studies

Readers are undoubtedly familiar with the Voltaire Foundation’s ever-expanding critical edition of Voltaire’s collected works, which has changed the landscape of eighteenth-century scholarship. […] Coming on the heels of Voltaire’s two great historical works, Le Siècle de Louis XIV (1751) and L’Histoire universelle (1753), this collection might give the impression of a writer capitalizing on his success by recycling unused work. Nicholas Cronk, however, makes a compelling case for considering the mélanges as a bona fide genre in which Voltaire exercised his taste for ‘de petits chapitres’, short variations on themes that enabled maximum flexibility in tone, approach, and subject matter. […] ‘De petits chapitres’ these may be but, as this volume convincingly shows, Voltaire’s brevity — his conspicuous silence on certain issues as much as his polemics — set the agenda of international debate for much of the eighteenth century.

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