Voltaire and the 1760s

essays for John Renwick

Volume: 2008:10

Series: SVEC

Volume Editors: Nicholas Cronk

Series Collaborators: David Adams, University of Manchester; Katherine Astbury, University of Warwick; Michael Cardy, Swansea University; Cecil Courtney, Christ’s College, Cambridge; David Coward, University of Leeds; Nicholas Cronk, Voltaire Foundation, Oxford; Simon Davies, Queen’s University Belfast; John Dunkley, University of Aberdeen; Jean Ehrard, Université de Clermont-Ferrand; Olivier Ferret, Université Lumière Lyon 2; Peter France, University of Edinburgh; Richard Francis, University of Nottingham; Graham Gargett, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Russell; Goulbourne, University of Leeds; James Hanrahan, National University of Ireland, Maynooth; David McCallam, University of Sheffield; Jonathan Mallinson, Trinity College, Oxford; Adrienne Mason, University of the West of England, Bristol; Haydn Mason, University of Bristol; Christiane Mervaud, Université de Rouen; Katharine Swarbrick, University of Edinburgh; Christopher Todd, University of Leeds; David Williams, University of Sheffield.

Publication Date: 2008

Pages: 308

ISBN: 978-0-7294-0949-0

Price: £75


The 1760s was a pivotal decade for the philosophes. In the late 1750s their cause had been at a low ebb, but it was transformed in the eyes of public opinion by such events as the Calas affair in the early 1760s. By the end of the decade, the philosophes were dominant in key literary institutions such as the Comédie-Française and the Académie française, and their enlightened programme became more widely accepted.

Many of the essays in this volume focus on Voltaire, revealing him as a writer of fiction and polemic who, during this period, became increasingly interested in questions of justice and jurisprudence. Other essays examine the literary activities of Voltaire’s contemporaries, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Chamfort, Rétif, Sedaine and Marmontel.

It is no exaggeration to describe the 1760s as Voltaire’s decade. It is he more than any other author who set the agenda and held the public’s attention during this seminal period for the development of Enlightenment ideas and values. Voltaire’s dominance of the 1760s can be summed up in a single phrase: it is in these years that he became the ‘patriarch of Ferney’.

Peter France, John Renwick: a tribute
Publications of John Renwick
Nicholas Cronk, Voltaire and the 1760s: the rule of the patriarch
I. Voltaire’s contemporaries
Jean Ehrard, Tempête dans un gobelet: esquisse de mémoire en défense de M. Ozy, apothicaire auvergnat du dix-huitième siècle
David Adams, Illustration and interpretation: the frontispiece to Marmontel’s Bélisaire
Michael Cardy, Some references to English writers in Marmontel’s Poétique française (1763)
Katherine Astbury, The success of Marmontel’s moral tales on the French stage 1760-1770
David McCallam, Physiocrats and barbarians: moral economies in Chamfort’s comedies
John Dunkley, Sedaine’s Maillard: the gauntlet, the calque and the seneschal’s revenge
Cecil Courtney, Constant d’Hermenches: correspondent of Voltaire and Belle de Zuylen
Christopher Todd, Glimpses of France and the French (1760-1769) in three English provincial newspapers
David Coward, ‘Je deviens auteur’: Restif in the 1760s
Graham Gargett, Caveirac, Protestants and the presence of Voltairean discourse in late-eighteenth-century France
Katharine Swarbrick, Voltaire, Rousseau and the uses of frivolity
II. Voltaire
James Hanrahan, Creating the ‘cri public’: Voltaire and public opinion in the early 1760s
Russell Goulbourne, Voltaire and the Calas affair in England
Christiane Mervaud, Voltaire et le Beccaria de Grenoble: Michel-Joseph-Antoine Servan
Olivier Ferret, Les stratégies éditoriales des Mélanges voltairiens
Nicholas Cronk, Le Philosophe ignorant, volume de mélanges
Simon Davies, Le Pyrrhonisme de l’histoire, Voltaire’s anthology of contes
Richard Francis, The Ingénu’s children
Jonathan Mallinson, Les Lettres d’Amabed: rewriting Graffigny’s Lettres d’une Péruvienne?
Adrienne Mason, Unheard voices: two English translations of Voltaire’s L’Ingénu
David Williams, Voltaire and Thomas Otway
Haydn Mason, Voltaire, directeur de conscience: his correspondence with Mme Du Deffand
Peter France, Last words

Voltaire Foundation

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