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Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment
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.
vol.XII: janvier 1699–décembre 1702, Lettres 1406–1590 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.