Histoire de Charles XII

Author: Voltaire

Volume: 4

Series: Œuvres complètes de Voltaire

Volume Editors: Gunnar von Proschwitz

Publication Date: 1996

Pages: 719

ISBN: 978-0-7294-0507-2

Price: £115


L’Histoire de Charles XII is Voltaire’s first major history, and relates the story of a warrior king, who was to Voltaire the embodiment of the ‘hero’, admirable for his strength in battle but at the same time tyrannical to the people he had no respect for – a king who stood in sharp contrast to the ‘benevolent tyrant’ Peter the Great, who had founded an empire of the Enlightenment. Voltaire’s view of Charles became massively influential through the eighteenth century.

Table of contents

Histoire de Charles XII (édition critique par Gunnar von Proschwitz)


Dix-huitième siècle

Cette publication appelée à servir de référence, est un modèle du genre.


Histoire de Charles XII […] est ‘plus qu’une histoire’ parce qu’elle est aussi une œuvre d’art. Les patientes recherches que cette édition critique a nécessitées le mettent bien en lumière.

Modern Language Review, 94:1

Devotees of The Complete Works of Voltaire will applaud this lovingly nurtured edition as a valuable addition to the prestigious collection. This volume has amply made up for the undeserved neglect into which Voltaire’s first major history had previously fallen.

Studi Francesi

This critical edition has been prepared by G. von Proschwitz with his acknowledged philological rigour and with the usual care of all the editors of the Complete Works of Voltaire series. The text of Voltaire’s work is preceded by a long and erudite introduction […][and] is followed by some appendixes which provide the reader with a series of useful documents which secure a better understanding of the text, and help to reconstruct the progressive work of writing and revising practiced by Voltaire.

Voltaire Foundation

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