VOLTAIRE FOUNDATION ANNUAL REPORT 2003-2004
The Voltaire Foundation Fund Committee, under the chairmanship of Sir Alan Budd, Provost of the Queen’s College, met twice during the year, in November and May. Professor Alexis Tadié, Director of the Maison Française, was welcomed as a new member.
In another successful year for the Foundation, a total of XX [ANDREA] new titles were published this year (see Annex).
Four volumes of the Complete works of Voltaire were published during the year; progress was maintained on volumes for 2004-05 and 2005-06. The Editorial Board of the Complete works met in Paris in June; Olivier Ferret (Université de Lyon II) and Russell Goulbourne (University of Leeds) were elected to the Board. Particular progress was made during the year on the two major works: Voltaire’s Questions sur l’Encyclopédie (7 volumes, publication starting in 2006), and Essai sur les mœurs (also 7 volumes, starting in 2007). Negotiations were successfully completed with the National Library of Russia, St Petersburg, for the Corpus des notes marginales de Voltaire to be incorporated into the Œuvres completes. Publication of this corpus, an essential tool for Voltaire scholarship, was abandoned by Akademie Verlag in the mid 1990s. It will now be completed by the Foundation in three further volumes, starting from 2006.
The Foundation publishes the Œuvres completes de Montesquieu for the Société Montesquieu. This year saw the publication of the Lettres persanes, edited by Catherine Volpilhac and Philip Stewart.
The year 2004 marked the centenary of the birth of Theodore Besterman, whose bequest led to the establishment of the Voltaire Foundation in the University in 1976. An account of his life, by Giles Barber, will appear is published in the new Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. The Foundation was represented, and its books displayed, at the annual meetings of the Société d’étude du XVIII e siècle in Paris in January, and of the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies in Boston in March. The annual Besterman Lecture was delivered by Professor Michel Delon (Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne), on the subject ‘Est-ce que l’on peut inventer un plaisir nouveau?’. Other visiting lecturers this year included Professor Daniel Roche (Collège de France), whose lecture <ask MF for title> was co-sponsored with the Maison Française d’Oxford.
Our annual postgraduate conference, which aims to bring together doctoral students in France and the UK working on the (mainly French) eighteenth century, was once again organised by Dr Edward Nye (Lincoln College), and was on the theme of ‘Dialogue’. The Foundation again was host once again to the Enlightenment Workshop organised by members of the Faculty of Modern History. Dr Russell Goulbourne (University of Leeds) was the Voltaire Foundation Visiting Scholar in Hilary and Trinity Terms; Dr David Beeson and Dr Michael Freyne, who are collaborating on the Complete Works of Voltaire, were elected as appointed Research Associates.
The Foundation continued to act serve as the international secretariat of the International Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies (ISECS); and also to adminster the Owen Taylor Fund which makes grants to young eighteenth-century scholars. Our website—redesigned this year by Nick Dunse—contains further information about the Foundation, its activities and publications: https://www.voltaire.ox.ac.uk .
ANNEXE: BOOKS PUBLISHED 2003-2004