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p. 303. The Englishmanlocked

  • Nicholas Cronk

Abstract

Voltaire arrived in London in May 1726, primarily to publish a definitive edition of his epic La Henriade as censorship made this impossible in France. ‘The Englishman’ describes how Voltaire immersed himself in English culture, frequently going to the theatre and making the acquaintance of the leading writers and poets of the day. Voltaire began writing his Letters on the English in England in 1727. The work comprises twenty-odd short essays dealing with religion, politics, science, and literature. Together they constitute the portrait of a culture and a manifesto of Enlightenment values. Letters on the English mark a highly significant moment in Voltaire’s career: his emergence as a great prose-writer.

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