Letters Concerning the English Nation

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Oxford University Press, 1999 - History - 193 pages
Inspired by Voltaire's stay in England (1726-8), this is one of the key works of the Enlightenment. Exactly contemporary with Gulliver's Travels and The Beggar's Opera, Voltaire's controversial pronouncements on politics, philosophy, religion, and literature have placed the Letters among the great Augustan 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 the Lettres 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 only critical edition of the original text and, as well as providing an introduction and notes, it includes intriguing accounts of Voltaire by contemporary English observers.

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Contents

LETTERS CONCERNING THE ENGLISH NATION
1
Letter XXV On Paschals Thoughts concerning Religion c
122
Extracts from Voltaires An Essay upon the Civil Wars of France and also upon the Epick Poetry of the European Nations from Homer down to Milton
151
ii Milton
153
Extract from Oliver Goldsmiths Memoirs of M de Voltaire
162
Original anecdote of Voltaire and a Quaker
172
Explanatory Notes
175
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About the author (1999)


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

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