Letters Concerning the English Nation

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1999-06-10
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Inspired by Voltaire's two-year stay in England (1726-8), this is one ofthe key works of the Enlightment. Exactly contemporary with Gulliver's Travelsand The Beggar's Opera, Voltaire's controversial pronouncements on politics,philosophy, religion, and literature have place the Letters among the greatAugustan satires.Voltaire wrote most of the book in English, in which he was fluent and witty,and it fast became a bestseller in Britain. He re-wrote it in French as theLettres philosophiques, and current editions in English translate his French.This edition restores for the modern reader Voltaire's own English text,allowing us to appreciate him as a stylist at first hand. It is the onlycritical edition of the original text and, as well as providing an introductionand notes, it includes intriguing accounts of Voltaire by contemporary Englishovservers.

Author Biography

Director of the Voltaire foundation, Nicholas Cronk is Fellow and Tutor in French at St Edmund's Hall and Faculty Lecturer, Oxford.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vi
Introduction vii
Note on the Text xxviii
Select Bibliography xxxiii
A Chronology of Voltaire xxxvii
Letters Concerning the English Nation
A: Letter XXV, `On Paschal's Thoughts concerning Religion, &c.'
B: Extracts from Voltaire's An Essay upon the Civil Wars of France and also upon the Epick Poetry of the European Nation from Homer down to Milton
(i) Advertisement to the Reader
(ii) Milton
C: Extract from Oliver Goldsmith's Memoirs of M. de Voltaire
D: Original anecdote of Voltaire and a Quaker
Explanatory Notes 175

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