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Raynal's 'Histoire des deux Indes'

colonialism, networks and global exchange

Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment
Vol. No.
Vol. No.: 


Volume editor(s)
Volume editor(s): 
Cecil P. Courtney, Jenny Mander
Publication Date
Publication Date: 
Price Sterling (£): 

About the Book

About the Book: 

Histoire des deux Indes, was arguably the first major example of a world history, exploring the ramifications of European colonialism from a global perspective. Frequently reprinted and translated into many languages, its readers included statesmen, historians, philosophers and writers throughout Europe and North America. Underpinning the encyclopedic scope of the work was an extensive transnational network of correspondents and informants assiduously cultivated by Raynal to obtain the latest expert knowledge. How these networks shaped Raynal’s writing and what they reveal about eighteenth-century intellectual sociability, trade and global interaction is the driving theme of this current volume.

From text-based analyses of the anthropology that structures Raynal’s history of human society to articles that examine new archival material relating to his use of written and oral sources, contributors to this book explore among other topics:

• how the Histoire created a forum for intellectual interaction and collaboration;

• how Raynal created and manipulated his own image as a friend to humanity as a promotional strategy;

• Raynal’s intellectual debts to contemporary economic theorists;

• the transnational associations of booksellers involved in marketing the Histoire;

• the Histoire’s reception across Europe and North America and its long-lasting influence on colonial historiography and political debate well into the nineteenth century.

Cecil Courtney and Jenny Mander, Introduction

I. The theme of global exchange in the Histoire des deux Indes

Stéphane Pujol, La logique des échanges dans l’Histoire des deux Indes

Peter Jimack, Coconuts, spice and sugar: indolence, energy and social interaction in the Histoire des deux Indes

Christian Donath, Apostles of the state: legitimate colonisation tactics in the Histoire des deux Indes

Antonella Alimento, Entre rivalité d’émulation et liberté commerciale: la présence de l’école de Gournay dans l’Histoire des deux Indes

Sylvana Tomaselli, On labelling Raynal’s Histoire: reflections on its genre and subject

Daniel Droixhe, Y a-t-il vraiment une ethnologie chez Raynal? L’enfance de l’art américain dans les ‘Deux Indes

Daniel Gordon, Uncivilised civilisation: Raynal and the global public sphere

II. Mediating networks: the making and marketing of the Histoire des deux Indes

Kenta Ohji, Raynal auto-compilateur: le projet d’une histoire politique de l’Europe moderne – des Mémoires historiques à l’Histoire des deux Indes

Gilles Bancarel, Ecriture et information: aux sources du réseau de Raynal

Gianluigi Goggi, La seconde édition de l’Histoire des deux Indes: relations entre libraires et stratégie de lancement dans les annonces des gazettes

Ida Federica Pugliese, From antagonism to a common fate: Guillaume-Thomas Raynal and William Robertson

Susanne Greilich, ‘Et moi suis-je sur des roses?’: l’Histoire des deux Indes entre l’historiographie espagnole, leyenda negra et discours anticolonial

Ursula Haskins Gonthier, The ‘Supplément au journal de Bougainville’: representations of Native Canadians in the Histoire des deux Indes

III. The Histoire des deux Indes and its network of readers

Fredrik Thomasson, Raynal and Sweden: royal propaganda and colonial aspirations

Reinier Salverda, Raynal and Holland: Raynal’s Histoire des deux Indes and Dutch colonialism in the age of Enlightenment

Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink, Controverses transatlantiques: contenus, enjeux et impact international de la Letter to the abbé Raynal (1782) de Thomas Paine

Jennifer Tsien, Louisiana as a figment of the imagination: Raynal’s reflections on the French American colony

Muriel Collart, L’Histoire des deux Indes et le Dictionnaire universel des sciences de Jean-Baptiste Robinet

Philippe Barthelet, Raynal sous le feu de ses adversaires: l’exemple de Joseph de Maistre

Georges Dulac, Un protestant languedocien admirateur de Raynal: l’Histoire des deux Indes dans le fonds Louis Médard de Lunel



Modern Language Review

‘All of the essays are scrupulously researched, with extensive footnotes referencing primary and secondary sources, and the volume’s bibliography is a comprehensive guide to the booming field of Raynal studies. [It will form a] substantive contribution to the interdisciplinary study of the “global eighteenth century”.’

French Studies

‘This volume of twenty essays constitutes a timely intervention into debates about global history, which, where studies of the eighteenth century are concerned, have been characterized by a certain scepticism’.

Dix-huitième siècle

‘Ce volume propose une moisson fort riche sur une œuvre considérable dans son étendue’.