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The Voltaire Foundation is a world leader for eighteenth-century scholarship, publishing the definitive edition of the Complete Works of Voltaire (Œuvres complètes de Voltaire), as well as Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment (previously SVEC), the foremost series devoted to Enlightenment studies, and the correspondences of several key French thinkers.

Voltaire was the greatest of the Enlightenment philosophers, and his voice and values remain a vital presence in European culture today. It is the mission of the Voltaire Foundation to promote and explore these values.

Blog, news and events

Le Figaro (17 Feb. 2017): ‘Pour la première fois, les œuvres de Voltaire vont être réunies en 200 volumes’.

Latest blog post:

La correspondance de Mme de Graffigny en 30 petites histoires.

School of Life: Voltaire – philosopher Alain de Botton has created a short animated video on Voltaire, scripted by Nicholas Cronk.

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Electronic Enlightenment, correspondence between key 18th-century writers.

Voltaire’s writings: TOUT VOLTAIRE – a database of reliable versions of Voltaire texts.

Other useful links.

For authors and editors

Publishing in Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment (previously SVEC).

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New publications

Animals and humans: sensibility and representation, 1650-1820 Front cover of latest OSE volume

Ed. Katherine M. Quinsey

Authors examine the dynamics of animal–human relations as embodied in the literature, art, farming practices, natural history, religion and philosophy of the long eighteenth century, and uncover the roots of much current thinking on interspecies morality and animal welfare.

Read the blog post by editor Katherine Quinsey: Animals and humans in the long eighteenth century: an intricate relationship.

Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment (previously SVEC), 2017:04


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Voltaire, ‘Micromégas’ and other texts

First page of Micromegas

Romans et contes de
Monsieur de Voltaire
,
3 vol. (Bouillon, Société
typographique, 1778),
vol.2, p.15 (click to enlarge).

Ed. Nicholas Cronk, Thomas Wynn et al.

Not just a science fiction tale about a planet-hopping giant from outer space visiting our world, but also a commentary on society and the scientific knowledge at the time of its composition, Voltaire’s Micromégas reflects on man’s place in the universe, between two infinities. This has remained one of Voltaire’s best-loved tales since its publication in 1752.

This volume also features La Prude, a comedy inspired by Wycherley’s Plain Dealer, the Conseils à M. Racine sur son poème de La Religion, where Voltaire criticizes the work of Louis Racine, son of the illustrious playwright, as well as Le Préservatif ou critique des ‘Observations sur les écrits modernes’, in which the author targets his personal enemy the abbé Desfontaines and his literary journal.

Complete Works of Voltaire, vol.20C


Correspondance de Pierre Bayle
vol.XIV: 1706–1732, Lettres 1742–1791

Bayle portrait in frontispiece

Notre dernier volume couvre une période d’une trentaine d’années après la mort de Pierre Bayle. Ses derniers écrits font l’objet de publications par Reinier Leers, et nous suivons dans la correspondance de Des Maizeaux sa préparation de son édition des lettres de Bayle, du Dictionnaire et de sa double traduction anglaise, des Œuvres diverses et de sa Vie de Mr Bayle publiée en 1730.


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Correspondance de Mme de Graffigny – now complete
Vol.1–15: 1716–1759, Lettres 1–2518 Mme de Graffigny ‘She was the world’s most famous writer at one time […] but there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of her. Françoise de Graffigny was admired throughout Europe in the mid 18th century for her novel Lettres d’une Péruvienne and her drama Cénie. […] But over two centuries later her name was pretty well forgotten. Then in 1975 a group of international scholars based at the University of Toronto came together to edit over 2500 letters written by Mme de Graffigny. Now, 40 years later, it’s finally been completed [and published by the Voltaire Foundation].’ – Editors Professor David Smith and Professor Penny Arthur’s CBC Radio One interview on the programme Fresh Air (24 April 2016):