The English essays of 1727

Author: Voltaire

Volume: 3B

Series: Œuvres complètes de Voltaire

Volume Editors: David Williams and RIchard Waller

Publication Date: 1996

Pages: 634

ISBN: 978-0-7294-0474-7

Price: £115


By May 1727, when he had been resident in England for about a year, Voltaire had determined to present prospective English readers of La Henriade, due to be published in a new and splendid edition, with a dual introduction: the Essay on epic poetry would provide the literary framework and the Essay on the Civil Wars of France the historical background. The latter work is not merely the small beginning of an immense output of historical writing; it is the first time that Voltaire writes for a reading public in prose on matters political and religious. Voltaire saw these two essays as one work, designed to promote interest in La Henriade.

Table of contents

Advertisement to the Reader (critical edition by David Williams)

An essay on the civil wars of France / Essai sur les guerres civiles de France (critical edition by Richard Waller)

Appendix. Article from the Bibliothèque française

An essay on epic poetry / Essai sur la poésie épique (critical edition by David Williams)

The Translation by Desfontaines

Appendix. Swift’s preface of 1728


Dix-Huitieme Siecle

Ce volume présente deux textes écrits pendant le séjour de Voltaire en Angleterre de mai 1726 à novembre 1728, et publiés en 1727 […]. Laissés souvent dans l’ombre du grand poème épique qu’ils devaient promouvoir par cette véritable opération publicitaire, ils offrent pourtant des perspectives intéressantes et nouvelles que les éditeurs soulignent dans leurs introductions.

Voltaire Foundation

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