The Précis du siècle de Louis XV is in many ways the most fascinating of his historical writings, and one of the least known. In it, we see him combining his techniques as a historian with those of the contemporary eyewitness – the ‘on dit’ of the earlier histories becomes ‘Je le sais, j’y étais’.
Précis du siècle de Louis XV (I)
Introduction, chapters 1-16
About the Book
The Précis du siècle de Louis XV is Voltaire’s vivid and engaging account of his own era. In this volume, the editors present the first sixteen chapters of the work: starting with an introduction to the situation in Europe at the time of Louis XIV’s death in 1715, the narrative continues through the Regency and into the midst of the War of Austrian Succession, up to the iconic French victory at the Battle of Fontenoy (1745).
The text is supported by a comprehensive introduction to the work, detailing the genesis and evolution of the work through its many iterations.