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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.

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Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment
(previously SVEC)

Enlightenment Spain and the ‘Encyclopédie méthodique’ Front cover of latest OSE volume Ed. Clorinda Donato and Ricardo López ‘What does Europe owe Spain?’ is the infamous question posed in the Encyclopédie méthodique. Through translations of the two encyclopedia articles at the center of the controversy and extensive textual commentary, the editors reveal how knowledge was transferred and adapted for geopolitical ends across Europe and the transatlantic world. Related blog post by the editor: The Empire strikes back: Spain vs. France in the eighteenth-century encyclopedia.

Complete Works of Voltaire

Volume 83: Miscellaneous verse Voltaire book display

Ed. Nick Treuherz and Russell Goulbourne

This volume presents all of Voltaire’s poetry for which a year of composition is unknown. It is composed exclusively of short pieces, and as such it provides an opportunity to study the place of shorter verse in Voltaire’s corpus, as well as the literary and social contexts in which it was composed. Voltaire’s impromptus, odes and epistles were often penned on specific occasions and given as gifts to friends and acquaintances, some well known, like Madame du Châtelet, others much more mysterious.

As the author’s reputation grew these short pieces became sought-after commodities: people would save them, and some would be copied and circulated to the wider public. The challenge, when faced with these texts, is to try and establish the period and circumstances of their composition by analysing the style and subject matter closely, and to attempt to understand when and how they became part of his body of work.

Correspondence series

Correspondance de Pierre Bayle
vol.XII: janvier 1699–décembre 1702, Lettres 1406–1590
Pierre Bayle Bayle achève la deuxième édition du Dictionnaire, comportant des ‘Eclaircissements’ qui confirment la position philosophique et religieuse adoptée dans la première édition. Le cercle de Bayle s’élargit encore: il fait la connaissance de Shaftesbury et de Pierre Des Maizeaux, il est reçu à La Haye par la reine Sophie Charlotte, et il maintient ses contacts avec Pierre Coste. Il ne se repose pas mais se lance dans la composition de ses dernières œuvres.