Reinventing Voltaire

BookReinventing Voltaire

Reinventing Voltaire

The Politics of Commemoration in Nineteenth-century France

Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2000:09


September 1st, 2000





How was Voltaire's legacy seen in France between 1830 and 1900? To what extent did the nineteenth century reinvent Voltaire? Viewed during these years through the distorting lens of the French Revolution, Voltaire was vilified and venerated in roughly equal measure: as an icon of republican anticlericalism on the one hand, and a deeply Christian reformer on the other. This wide-ranging study uses the rich sources of the Parisian periodical and daily press to examine the evolution of Voltaire's legacy as it was contested through caricature and statuary as much as through editions and criticism of his works.