Show Summary Details

p. 696. The Genevanlocked

  • Nicholas Cronk


In the mid-1750s, Voltaire’s reputation was high: Montesquieu’s death in 1755 left Voltaire as the undisputed leader of the philosophes and Adam Smith spoke of him as a dominant literary figure of the age. And yet, Voltaire had rarely felt more unsettled. ‘The Genevan’ describes how Voltaire settled in French-speaking Geneva, an important centre of publishing, with his niece and companion, Marie-Louise Denis. In 1756, Cramer published a complete edition of Voltaire’s writings, marking a milestone in Voltaire’s literary career. Voltaire’s successive responses—a traditional philosophical poem and the novel Candide (1759)—to the catastrophe of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake show strikingly how his thinking about literary genre was evolving.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.