Voltaire’s English alter-ego unmasked by new letters

"14 newly-discovered letters by Voltaire have allowed an Oxford University team to shed light on his brief but important time in England."

— (University of Oxford press release, Friday 20 January 2012)

These letters are edited, in collaboration with the Voltaire Foundation, as part of the Digital correspondence of Voltaire project. The letters include edited text & manuscript images, & are published exclusively through Electronic Enlightenment.

Today programme: "Voltaire's lost letters discovered"

"Professor Nicholas Cronk, the director of Oxford University's Voltaire Foundation, told the Today programme that the letters confirm that Voltaire was paid £200 by the British government for being a great poet."

— (Today, BBC Radio 4, Friday 20 January 2012)

Culture 24: "Voltaire's English alter ego unmasked in letters discovered by Oxford University Professor"

"While here he was exposed to ideas of English writers and later took empiricism back to the Continent where it became the basis for the enlightenment," says Professor Cronk.

"These newly discovered letters are therefore very interesting because they show how Voltaire's close interaction with the English aristocracy exposed him to these ideas and help us to piece together the nature of those interactions."

— (Ruth Hazard, Culture 24, Friday 20 January 2012)

The Guardian: "Letters reveal Voltaire's exposure to English empiricism"

"New letters from a man who is thought to have written at least 20,000 during his long lifetime are not unusual, but the latest batch of 14 — uncovered in the New York public library’s archives by the Oxford University professor Nicholas Cronk, who lectures in medieval and modern languages — shines fresh light on the three years Voltaire spent in England in the late 1720s."

— (Stephen Bates, The Guardian, Friday 20 January 2012)

BBC News online: "Voltaire English letters discovered by Oxford academic"

"An Oxford academic has uncovered letters by Voltaire which reveal how much this icon of French writing profited financially and intellectually from a stay in England."

— (Sean Coughlan, BBC News online, Friday 20 January 2012)

Huffington Post: "Voltaire Letters Shed Light On Years In England"

Professor Nicholas Cronk, director of the university's Voltaire Foundation, says "Voltaire spent two important but relatively undocumented years in England in his early thirties at a time when he was best known as a poet - he arrived with only a recommendation from the British Ambassador to Paris."

— (The Huffington Post, UK, Friday 20 January 2012)

Newsnight: "Voltaire's love of England"

"Jeremy Paxman has a report on the Free Syrian Army operations inside Damascus. Immigration and benefits. And Voltaire's love of England in his own words."

— (Newsnight, BBC Two, Friday 20 January 2012)

Le Figaro: "des lettres de Voltaire découvertes"

An academic from Oxford University has discovered new letters written by Voltaire during his two years in England from 1726-8, which underline the influence of British intellectuals on the French philosopher’s ideas. Professor Nicholas Cronk, director of the Voltaire Foundation, explains his findings.

— (Le Figaro, (France), via AFP, 20/01/12


Voltaire's letters link to British aristocracy

i (The paper for today), p. 3, Unattributed, 20/01/12

Letters show Voltaire’s links to English gentry

China Daily, 20/01/12

Letters stress Voltaire’s links to English gentry

Reuters, Mike Collett-White, 20/01/12

Radio: Jo Thoenes (news headlines), BBC Radio Oxford

Includes clip from an interview with Professor Cronk.

BBC iPlayer, 20/01/2012, 15:01 [2.01.16 on the iPlayer clock]

Letters stress Voltaire’s link to English gentry

DAWN.com (USA), 20/01/12

Voltaire’s alter-ego exposed

Yorkshire Post, 21/01/12

Radio: News, BBC Radio Oxford

BBC iPlayer, 20/01/12, 3.01pm [c.2:01:45 on the iPlayer clock]

Voltaire en Angleterre, à travers 14 lettres inédites

Actualitté (France), 22/01/12

Ce que Voltaire doit à l’Angleterre

Courrier international (France), 20/01/12

La lettere dell’opportunista Voltaire

Corriere Della Sera (Italy), 20/01/12

Voltaire l’opportunista

RaiNews24 online (Italy), 20/01/12

Cartas revelan lazos de Voltaire con la nobleza inglesa

Terra (Latin America), 20/01/12

Cartas de Voltaire arrojan luz sobre sus influencias inglesas

El Telegrafo (Ecuador), 20/01/12

Descubiertas 14 cartas de Voltaire

El Mundo (Spain), 20/01/12

El hallazgo de cartas de Voltaire arrojan luz sobre sus influencias inglesas

ABC (Spain), 20/01/12

Encuentran cartas que revelan la influencia britanica de Voltaire

Emol (Chile), 20/01/12

Descubren cartas de Voltaire vinculadas con aristocracia inglesa

El Universal (Mexico), 21/01/12

Encuentran cartas de Voltaire que muestran sus influencias inglesas

Actualidad (Venezuela)

W.Brytania. Wolter filozof lasy na apanaze

Gazeta (Poland)

El hallazgo de cartas de Voltaire arrojan luz sobre sus influencias inglesas

Prensa Libre (Guatemala), 22/01/12

Voltaire letters brought to light

MSN News (UK), from Press Association, 20/01/12

Letters stress Voltaire’s links to English gentry

The West Australian, from Reuters, 20/01/12

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