New Book | Voltaire, Siècle de Louis XIV, volumes 1–6

Posted in books by Editor on May 19, 2015

From the Voltaire Foundation:

Voltaire, Siècle de Louis XIV, volumes 1–6, edited by Diego Venturino, et al. (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2015–17).


Attributed to Antoine Benoist (1632–1717), Portrait of Louis XIV, lead pencil, sanguine and white chalk (Château de Versailles)

2015 marks the 300th anniversary of the death of Louis XIV (1638–1715), the Sun King, whose reign defined the era of the ‘Grand Siècle’ and saw France rise to become the dominant player on the European stage. To mark this anniversary, the Voltaire Foundation, in collaboration with the Château de Versailles, is publishing Voltaire’s seminal account of his reign, the Siècle de Louis XIV (1751), the first major overall account of the reign of Louis XIV. This text is the starting-point for any reflection on the political and cultural history of the era of the Sun King, and is a monument of eighteenth-century historiography, paving the way for both modern historiography and literary history. The lasting success of this flagship work is due to the depth of Voltaire’s insight into the people and events that he is describing and to his historical method, which was remarkable for its day. The emphasis on first-hand accounts from those who witnessed events and on the perspective of the age as a whole rather than a parade of facts bears the stamp of Voltaire. This edition is the first-ever full critical edition, and will be published in volumes 11–13 of the Complete Works of Voltaire. It takes as its base text the last version of the work that Voltaire authorised (1775), and gives variant readings from all preceding versions of the text. It will include the Catalogue des écrivains français qui ont paru dans le siècle de Louis XIV, an important and fascinating work in its own right. The edition will be supplied with an index with full names and dates of all persons mentioned in the text. These volumes are published with the support of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles.

See “The Sun King and Voltaire: 300 Years On” for an overview of good reading relating to Louis XIV and his era, along with our Siècle de Louis XIV blog pieces: “Picturing the Reign of Louis XIV” and “Shadows at the Court of the Sun King.”

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

• Œuvres complètes de Voltaire, tome 11 | Siècle de Louis XIV (I): Introduction, Textes annexes, Index (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2017), ISBN: 978-0729411462.

• Œuvres complètes de Voltaire, tome 12 | Siècle de Louis XIV (II): Listes et Catalogue des écrivains (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2016), ISBN: 978-0729411479.

• Œuvres complètes de Voltaire, tome 13A | Siècle de Louis XIV (III): Chapitres 1–12 (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2015), ISBN 978-0729409650.

• Œuvres complètes de Voltaire, tome 13B | Siècle de Louis XIV (IV): Chapitres 13–24 (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2015), ISBN: 978-0729411561.

• Œuvres complètes de Voltaire, tome 13C | Siècle de Louis XIV (V): Chapitres 25–30 (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2015), ISBN: 978-0729411578.

• Œuvres complètes de Voltaire, tome 13D | Siècle de Louis XIV (VI): Chapitres 31–39 (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2016), ISBN: 978-0729411554.

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