From humble beginnings in rural France, Pierre Bayle (1647-1706), Protestant thinker and forerunner of the Enlightenment, became one of the best-known philosophers and man of letters of the seventeenth century. His key works were universally admired and a great source of inspiration for the Enlightenment philosophers. The edition (1999-2017) was edited by a team of specialists, led by Elisabeth Labrousse and Antony McKenna.
Bayle, author of the landmark Dictionnaire historique et critique, is celebrated as a defender of religious and political toleration. Working from the vantage point of Holland where he lived in exile, his key works were universally admired and a great source of inspiration for Enlightenment philosophers. His vast correspondence with thinkers and scholars throughout Europe offer key insights into historical, philosophical, religious, political and cultural debates of the time.
This edition contains over 1700 mostly unpublished letters in 15 volumes, meticulously annotated by a team of specialists with fully contextualised notes and documents.
‘This expertly prepared critical edition is undoubtedly a major event in the world of early Enlightenment studies for the study of the Republic of Letters. Bayle is turning out to be central to every key issue relating to the early Enlightenment and his correspondence is clearly an indispensable source for understanding the complex background to his publications’ (Jonathan Israel, Institute for Advanced Study).