Œuvres de 1762 (I)

Author: Voltaire

Volume: 56A

Series: Œuvres complètes de Voltaire

Volume Editors: Roland Desné et al.

Publication Date: 2001

Pages: 588

ISBN: 978-0-7294-0729-8

Price: £105


In 1762, Voltaire was at the height of his career, his output manifold and unceasing despite his being close to 70 years of age. This was the period of Voltaire’s life in which his famous battle cry – Ecrasez l’Infâme! – was first used, as Voltaire’s attacks on the Christian establishment came to a head with the case of Jean Calas, executed for murder in Toulouse, whom Voltaire believed to be an innocent victim of anti-protestant prejudice.

This volume contains the Testament de Jean Meslier, a priest recruited to aid in the denunciation of miracles, prophecies and spiritual contradictions, and a strategically invaluable ally for the dissident Voltaire. There is also the satirical Eloge de M. de Crébillon, a petty posthumous attack on the literary works of Voltaire’s deceased enemy Crébillion, and Saül, a play about the biblical Saul and David in which heroic subject matter is instead dominated by burlesque absurdity and irony.

Contributors: Diana Guiragossian Carr, Marie-Hélène Cotoni, Simon Davies, Roland Desné, Henri Lagrave, Jeroom Vercruysse.

Table of contents

Testament de Jean Meslier (édition critique par Roland Desné)

Balance égale (édition critique par Diana Guiragossian Carr)

Extrait de la Gazette de Londres (édition critique par Diana Guiragossian Carr)

Petit avis à un jésuite (édition critique par Diana Guiragossian Carr)

Eloge de Monsieur de Crébillon (édition critique par Jeroom Vercruysse)

Saül, drame (édition critique par Henri Lagrave et Marie-Hélène Cotoni)

Poetry of 1762 (critical edition by Simon Davies)
     Impromptu sur l’aventure tragique d’un jeune homme de Lyon


Times Literary Supplement

[This volume exhibits] all the by now familiar virtues of the enterprise: the highest editorial standards and a quality of material presentation (paper, type, binding in particular) rarely to be met with today. The arrangement [of the work], in chronological order (of composition, not publication), not only displays the range and diversity of Voltaire’s interests at any one time, but also the developing context in which he wrote and the lengths to which he was prepared to go to maintain his position as the presiding genius of the French Enlightenment.

Voltaire Foundation

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