Reinventing Voltaire

the politics of commemoration in nineteenth-century France

Author: Bird, Stephen

Volume: 2000:09

Series: SVEC

Publication Date: 2000

Pages: 257

ISBN: 978-0-7294-0742-7

Price: £55


How was Voltaire’s legacy seen in France between 1830 and 1900? To what extent did the nineteenth century reinvent Voltaire? Viewed during these years through the distorting lens of the French Revolution, Voltaire was vilified and venerated in roughly equal measure: as an icon of republican anticlericalism on the one hand, and a deeply Christian reformer on the other. This wide-ranging study uses the rich sources of the Parisian periodical and daily press to examine the evolution of Voltaire’s legacy as it was contested through caricature and statuary as much as through editions and criticism of his works.

List of illustrations
I Politicising Voltaire
II Le Siècle and the subscription campaign of 1867: the first open-air statue of Voltaire
III Exhibiting Voltaire in the public sphere: the iconographic tradition
IV Working-class editions and their readership
V Voltaire in the classroom
Select list of works cited

Voltaire Foundation

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