Voltaire's Notebooks

Voltaire's Notebooks

Voltaire's Notebooks

Voltaire's Notebooks

Excerpt

I have been preparing for a number of years a critical edition of Voltaire's correspondence, and during the course of this work I have naturally come across a good many general manuscripts by and relating to Voltaire and to the French eighteenth century in general. Much of this material I hope to publish from time to time as the progress of the larger task permits. The present volumes form the first of these publications. I consider it a great privilege to have been able to put together for the first time so outstandingly important and exciting a publication as these notebooks which Voltaire kept throughout his life. The nature of the manuscripts is fully explained in the introduction, together with the manner in which they have been presented.

On later pages I express my indebtedness to mr Louis Clarke for allowing me to print for the first time the remarkable English notebook in his possession, and to professor Norman L. Torrey for his most helpful attitude. I should like to thank them again here, and to join to their names those of my friends Arthur Ellis and Harry Sellers, who read the proofs and made a number of valuable suggestions. To praise the University Press, Oxford, is perhaps superfluous; but I will not deny myself the pleasure of acknowledging the admirable way in which the Press's compositors and readers have dealt with a singularly difficult and polyglot manuscript.

TH. B.

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