VOLTAIRE FOUNDATION ANNUAL REPORT 2005-2006
In another successful year for the Foundation, a total of 24 new titles were published (see Annexe). There has been some turnover in staff, but this has not detracted from a continuing high level of expertise. Tim Gardam, Principal of St. Anne’s College, replaced Sir Alan Budd as Chair of the Voltaire Foundation Fund Committee.
In addition to the income from the Besterman Bequest and that generated by the publishing operation (Voltaire Foundation Ltd), we have had significant success with our fundraising efforts, and appointed our first (part-time) Development Director. We now attract subsidies from the Centre national du Livre (Paris) for an increasing number of our series. The Domaine de Belesbat/Air Artisan Paris renewed their generous sponsorship of two volumes (€60,000) of the Complete works of Voltaire/Œuvres complètes de Voltaire, and one further volume received individual sponsorship. We were also successful in gaining additional British Academy funding for two major texts in the Complete works of Voltaire programme, and we obtained funding for the first time from the Union académique internationale (Brussels).
Six volumes of the Complete works of Voltaire were published during the academic year; this is the largest number of volumes produced in a twelve-month period since the edition was launched in 1968. Our aim is now to maintain this momentum to ensure completion of the edition by our target date of 2018. The Editorial Board met, as usual, in Paris in June; and Professor David Williams (University of Sheffield) was appointed Research Associate of the Voltaire Foundation, in recognition of his particular contribution to the progress of the edition. An important development this year was the inclusion within the Complete works of the Corpus des notes marginales de Voltaire: this critical edition of Voltaire’s marginalia, formerly published by Akademie Verlag in Berlin, ran aground in the mid 1990s, and negotiations have been successfully completed with the National Library of Russia, St Petersburg, for the Corpus des notes marginales de Voltaire to be published by the Voltaire Foundation, as an integral part of the Complete works. The publication of Voltaire’s marginal annotations of the books in his library has now been relaunched with Volume 6, containing the hitherto unpublished marginalia on authors from Nadal to Plato. An important innovation this year has been the reissuing of volumes of the edition which had gone out of print, and the technology of print-on-demand made possible the reprinting of three volumes: Volume 2 (La Henriade, ed. O. R. Taylor), Volume 7 (La Pucelle, ed. Jeroom Vercruysse), and Volume 59 (La Philosophie de l’histoire, ed. J. H. Brumfitt).
SVEC (Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century), under the general editorship of Jonathan Mallinson (Trinity College), continued to publish the best modern research, in both English and French, on all aspects of the (predominantly French) Enlightenment. Among the twelve volumes appearing in this period were literary monographs, a critical edition of hitherto unpublished manuscripts, and studies in the history of the book and the history of ideas. Two specially commissioned collaborative volumes appeared, one Emilie Du Châtelet: rewriting Enlightenment philosophy and science, was published to coincide with the tercentenary of the birth of Mme Du Châtelet in 1706, the other The Eighteenth century now: boundaries and perspectives, a collection of essays on the present state and future direction of eighteenth-century studies, was commissioned to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the series SVEC, founded by Theodore Besterman in 1955. The series continued to be the preferred place of publication for both young and established scholars, and the list included four books based on doctoral theses (from England, France and North America), and extended essays on Voltaire by two of the foremost French specialists.
An important new edition was launched with the first volume of the Correspondance générale de La Beaumelle: this unpublished correspondence of a leading Huguenot figure is a major addition to our list of definitive editions of eighteenth-century correspondences, which we propose to publish electronically as well as on paper. The regular publication of our other collections has been maintained, and this period also saw the appearance of further volumes in the Œuvres complètes de Montesquieu and in the Correspondance de Bayle. The Œuvres complètes de Montesquieu were awarded the ‘Prix 2006’ of the Académie Montesquieu.
Electronic Enlightenment (EE) is a research project which aims to create a fully
cross-searchable digital collection of eighteenth-century correspondences, in both French and English, in their best available critical editions. We are grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their continuing support of this project: a further grant of $282,000 has allowed research on the prototype to continue during this period, with a view to creating a saleable product which might be distributed by OUP in 2007. A grant from the British Academy made jointly to the University of Exeter and to the Foundation is financing an electronic edition of the unpublished Correspondance de Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, which will begin publication in 2007.
Professor Graham Gargett (University of Ulster, Coleraine) spent part of Hilary Term in Oxford as the VF Visiting Scholar. The Foundation continued to administer the Owen Taylor Fund which makes grants to young eighteenth-century scholars. Our annual postgraduate conference, which aims to bring together doctoral students in France, the UK and North America working broadly on the French eighteenth century, was organised this year by graduate students Ursula Haskins Gonthier and Alison Roberts; it was held at Lincoln College in April 2006, with the theme ‘L’opinion et les opinions au XVIIIe siècle’; the proceedings will be published in SVEC in 2007. The Foundation, in association with the Voltaire Society of America and the Société des études voltairiennes, sponsored a double panel on ‘Current Research on Voltaire’ at the 2006 meeting of the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies. In Hilary and Trinity Terms, the Foundation was again host to the weekly Enlightenment Workshop sessions organised by members of the Modern History Faculty; and with the Maison Française d’Oxford, the Foundation co-hosted a lecture by Professor Steve Kaplan (Cornell). The Foundation was represented, and its books displayed, at the annual meetings of the Société française d’étude du XVIIIe siècle in Paris in January, of the British Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies in Oxford in January, and of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) in Montreal in March. The Foundation continued to serve as the secretariat of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ISECS), which, as its name suggests, is the principal interdisciplinary forum for eighteenth-century research. Further information about the activities and publications of the Foundation can be found on our website: www.voltaire.ox.ac.uk.
BOOKS PUBLISHED AUGUST 2005 – JULY 2006
(1) Œuvres complètes de Voltaire
Volume 32A Œuvres de 1750-1752
La Voix du sage et du peuple, ed. David Williams; Eloge historique de Mme la marquise Du Châtelet, ed. William Barber; and other texts
Volume 74A Œuvres de 1772 (I)
Le Taureau blanc, ed. René Pomeau, Christiane Mervaud and Marie-Hélène Cotoni; Essai sur les probabilités en fait de justice, ed. John Renwick; and other texts
Volume 74B Œuvres de 1772 (II)
Il faut prendre un parti, ed. Paolo Casini; La Voix du curé, ed. Robert Granderoute; Epître à Horace, ed. Nicholas Cronk; and other texts
Corpus des notes marginales 6: Nadal-Plato, ed. Natalia Elaguina
Volume 63C Œuvres de 1767 (II)
L’Ingénu, ed. Richard Francis
Volume 28A Œuvres de 1742-1745 (I)
La Princesse de Navarre and Le Temple de la gloire, ed. Russell Goulbourne; A M*** sur le mémoire de Desfontaines, ed. Olivier Ferret; and other texts
(2) SVEC (Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century)
Nicholas Cronk and Alain Viala (eds), La Réception de Racine à l’âge classique (SVEC 2005:08)
Romira Worvill, ‘Seeing’ speech: illusions and the transformation of dramatic writing in Diderot and Lessing (SVEC 2005:09)
Jonathan Mallinson (ed.), The Eighteenth century now: boundaries and perspectives (SVEC 2005:10)
Stéphanie Genand, Le Libertinage et l’histoire: politique de la séduction à la fin de l’Ancien Régime (SVEC 2005:11)
Miscellany: Social history, Morellet, Social anthropology, History of the book (SVEC 2005:12)
Judith P. Zinsser and Julie Candler Hayes (eds), Emilie Du Châtelet: rewriting Enlightenment philosophy and science (SVEC 2006:01)
Pierre Bourguet (ed.), Rétif de La Bretonne, Les Revies et Les Converseuses (SVEC 2006:02)
Russell Goulbourne, Voltaire comic dramatist (SVEC 2006:03)
Florence Lotterie, Progrès et perfectibilité: un dilemme des Lumières françaises (1755-1814) (SVEC 2006:04)
Peter Damian-Grint, Medievalism and « manière gothique » in Enlightenment France (SVEC 2006:05)
Christiane Mervaud, Bestiaires de Voltaire, Frédéric Deloffre, Genèse de Candide, et autres études sur Voltaire (SVEC 2006:06)
Robert L. Dawson, Confiscations at customs: banned books and the French booktrade during the last years of the Ancien régime (SVEC 2006:07)
Œuvres complètes de Montesquieu: Volume 9, Œuvres et écrits divers II, ed. Pierre Rétat
Correspondance générale de La Beaumelle: Volume 1 (1729 – 1747), ed. Hubert Bost, Claude Lauriol et Hubert Angliviel de La Beaumelle
Correspondance de Bayle: Volume 4 (1684), ed. Antony McKenna and others
British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies: Volume 27, part 2; Volume 28, parts 1 and 2