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‘Beyond too much’: Shakespearean excesses in the 18th century
Thursday, 25 June, 2020
From the mid-1750s an unprecedented Anglophilia took hold of Europe. It manifested itself throughout Germany from the mid-1770s onwards with the rampant ‘Hamlet fever’.
‘A la portée de tout le monde’
Thursday, 18 June, 2020
When I came upon the baron d’Holbach in the early 1960s there were few secondary sources to guide me, and there were precious few of his works accessible from a university library.
Quarantine and Enlightenment: ‘Following the science’ in eighteenth-century Europe
Thursday, 11 June, 2020
‘Nous étions au XVIIIe siècle, qui est celui des Sciences et des Arts’, proclaimed Danilo Samoilovich in his ‘Mémoire sur la peste’.
‘Artifex quidam nomine Newton’
Thursday, 4 June, 2020
Gustave Lanson avait cherché en vain la source du syntagme latin que Voltaire répétera à chaque nouvelle édition des ‘Lettres philosophiques’ jusqu’en 1756.
Voltaire’s ‘Letters on the English’ and the story of smallpox
Wednesday, 27 May, 2020
‘It is inadvertently affirmed in the Christian countries of Europe, that the English are fools and madmen.’
A (sacred) contagion
Monday, 25 May, 2020
You feel as though you are in danger. You know that what is threatening you is all around you and invisible. You feel precarious on this earth. When you look at the world out there, you are worried. Disorder makes you anxious, order reassures you.
‘Pour encourager les autres’: Admiral Byng, Voltaire, and the 1756 battle of Minorca
Wednesday, 20 May, 2020
20 May 2020 marks the 264th anniversary of the naval battle of Minorca in 1756.
'All together now': accessing national theatre before the internet
Thursday, 14 May, 2020
Since the spread of global lockdowns to combat coronavirus, there has been an explosion of theatre productions that have been made freely available online.
The Battle of Fontenoy: a literary afterlife
Monday, 11 May, 2020
The Battle of Fontenoy took place 275 years ago today, on 11 May 1745, near the city of Tournai, then in the Austrian Netherlands.
The Taste of deception: plague, food, and medicine in seventeenth-century England
Monday, 4 May, 2020
How well do you know your food, drink, and medicines? Do you trust their ingredients, appearance, and their taste?

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