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Voltaire: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780199688357

Price(incl.tax): 
¥1,628
Author: 
Nicholas Cronk
Pages
176 Pages
Format
Paperback
Size
111 x 174 mm
Pub date
Feb 2017
Series
Very Short Introductions

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  • Explores Voltaire's life, career, and most important works
  • Looks at the factors that influenced his work, how theatre played a part in understanding his work as a writer, and his impact as an empirical philosopher
  • Shows how he established his authority as a writer by progressively redefining and refining his role with his reading public
  • Explores his status as a literary celebrity
  • Examines his impact on French political values and modern French politics

 
Voltaire (1694-1778), best remembered as the author of Candide, is one of the central actors — arguably the defining personality — of the European Enlightenment. In this Very Short Introduction, Nicholas Cronk explores Voltaire's remarkable career and demonstrates how his thinking is pivotal to our notion and understanding of the Enlightenment. 

In a fresh and modern examination of his writings, Cronk examines the nature of Voltaire's literary celebrity, demonstrating the extent to which his work was reactive and practical, and therefore made sense within the broader context of the debates to which he responded. The most famous living author in Europe in the 18th century, Cronk emphasises Voltaire's skills of 'performance' as a writer and his continued relevance today. He concludes by looking not only at Voltaire's impact in literature and philosophy, but also his influence on French political values and modern French politics.

Index: 

1: The actor
2: The Epicurean
3: The Englishman
4: The scientist
5: The courtier
6: The Swiss exile
7: The patriarch
8: The after-life
Further reading
Index

About the author: 

Nicholas Cronk, Professor of French Literature in Oxford, a Fellow of St Edmund Hall, and Director of the Voltaire Foundation
 
Nicholas Cronk is Professor of French Literature in Oxford and Director of the Voltaire Foundation. For the last decade, he has been general editor of the Complete Works of Voltaire. He is also currently Président of the French Société des études voltairiennes, based at the Sorbonne. He has published many editions of individual Voltaire texts, and over fifty articles on Voltaire, in English and French. He has also edited a number of books on Voltaire, including Voltaire and the 1760s (2008), and Les 250 ans de Candide (with N. Ferrand, 2013). He also recently edited the Cambridge Companion to Voltaire (2009) and has edited and introduced two Voltaire works in the Oxford World's Classics series.

"[a] brilliant new study ... To squeeze Voltaire into a mere 124 pages of text plus notes is quite the achievement. And yet this book is bursting with complex ideas, perspectives and opinions ... Cronk is perfectly placed to present the most up-to-date imaginable overview of Voltaire, and of Voltaire studies ... His Very Short Introductio is the promise of a very long Voltairean legacy yet to come." - Professor Síofra Pierse, Revue Voltaire

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