50-year project reveals new insights about evolution and influence of Voltaire’s thought

This important work by researchers from the Voltaire Foundation at the University of Oxford has uncovered new insights about the evolution and influence of Voltaire’s thought.

Among the many insights from the process of collecting and annotating Voltaire’s writings was the discovery in 2012 of 14 previously unknown letters from Voltaire. They shed new light on his stay in England in the 1720s, including the receipt of a £200 grant from the British Royal Family and his use of ‘Francis’ as an alter-ego to ‘François’.

The project team now plan to digitise the entire collection of Voltaire’s work to enable detailed analysis by scholars and researchers from all over the world. This new challenge aims to establish a new cutting-edge digital hub for the humanities in Oxford with a focus on digital research. Oxford’s Voltaire Foundation will forge ever stronger ties with other leading institutions across Europe through the Foundation’s Voltaire Lab, with partners including the Sorbonne in Paris, to share knowledge, understanding and best practice.

Professor Nicholas Cronk, Director of the Voltaire Foundation, said: ‘The completion of all 205 volumes of the Complete works of Voltaire marks a milestone in the history of the Voltaire Foundation. As we celebrate the end of this 50-year project, we also celebrate the beginning of the next chapter, in which we will explore the potential of scholarly digital editions to highlight the enduring importance and relevance of Enlightenment authors.’

The Voltaire Foundation will mark the completion of the Complete Works of Voltaire with a series of events across the year. This includes:

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