The Darnton debate: books and revolution in the eighteenth century


Volume Editors: Mason, Haydn

Publication Date: 1999

Pages: 319

ISBN: 978-0-7294-0653-6

Price: £25


Ever since Professor Robert Darnton aroused the interest of Enlightenment scholars in 1971 with the publication of The High Enlightenment and the low-life of literature in pre-revolutionary France, he has been in the forefront of debate about the period. His work has long been indispensable for all those who ponder the role of the book in that history. By the mid 1990s, however, it was apparent that Darnton’s far-reaching conclusions on the relationship of the Enlightenment to the Revolution merited a comprehensive debate on his œuvre. The essays collected in this volume initiate that debate. Written by established Enlightenment scholars, they present a spectrum of opinions on Darnton’s work – opinions that Darnton responds to in a vigorous closing essay that includes insights and information not previously published.
Contributors: Bell, David A.; Eisenstein, Elizabeth L.; Gordon, Daniel; Hesse, Carla; Kaiser, Thomas E.; McKenzie, D. F.; Mortier, Roland; Moureau, François; Pasta, Renato; Popkin, Jeremy D.; Rose, Jonathan; Varry, Dominique. With a concluding essay by Robert Darnton


Times Literary Supplement

This collection […] is no Festschrift. It is more like a half-time commentary on the impact on his chosen field of an original mind and a distinguished stylist. Published in a superb but expensive series, it might not have reached the audience it deserves. But the Voltaire Foundation has recently begun to bring out some of its less specialist titles simultaneously in cheaper paperback editions. It is in every way fitting that this should be one of the first.

Voltaire Foundation

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