Voltaire and the Theatre of the Eighteenth Century

By Marvin Carlson | Go to book overview

Alzire for its first tragedy. It was well received and repeated two days later with Voltaire in attendance, and though he doubtless hoped for royal approbation, he had the disappointment of hearing the king loudly express astonishment that the author of Alzire could also have written Oreste. 10

Clearly much more satisfying to Voltaire than either Comédie or court at this time was the young group of amateurs that he had assembled and personally trained in the new private theatre in his own home. To them he gave the Rome sauvée, which he did not dare to have presented at the Comédie, and they offered its premiere early in June before an invited audience that included several abbés, representatives from the French Academy and the world of letters ( Diderot and d'Alembert), and even a few friends from court. Prominent among the latter was the Duc de Richelieu, who even arranged for costumes and properties from Crébillon's rival Catilina to be borrowed from the Comédie for Voltaire's use. This select performance brought the attention of the elegant world to Voltaire's private stage, and ministers, ambassadors, and the aristocracy sought entry to the subsequent performances of Le Duc de Foix, Zulime, and Jules César. The duchess of Maine invited the little troupe to Sceaux for a more public performance of Rome sauvée, which took place 22 June. There, Voltaire himself replaced the amateur actor Mandron, who had played Cicéron in his home, while Lekain appeared again as César. Lekain reported that "I do not believe it would be possible to hear anything truer, more pathetic, and more spirited than M. de Voltaire in this role. He was truly Cicero himself." The duchess was equally impressed, and while congratulating Voltaire, asked him who his young colleague, Lekain, was. "Madame," Voltaire replied, "he is the best of us all."11 After the performance, Voltaire informed the duchess that he had decided at last to accept Frederick II's oft-repeated invitation to settle in Berlin. Despite his many successes, the triumph and recognition that he continued to seek at court and in the cultural world of Paris still eluded him, as the recent ambiguous reception of Oreste at the Comédie and Alzire at Versailles clearly proved. The Prussian court, on the contrary, seemed to offer a sanctuary with a favorably disposed monarch and none of the priests, ministers, or literary rivals that continually intrigued against him in Paris. Voltaire obtained permission from King Louis to leave the kingdom (not, apparently, very unwillingly given) and by July he was in Germany. He did not presumably expect his exile to be an extended one, but in fact he did not again see Paris until a few months before his death, twenty-eight years later.


NOTES
1.
Duc de Luynes, Mémoires sur la cour de Louis XV, 17 vols. ( Paris: Firmin Didot, 1860-1865), 6: 354.

-79-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Voltaire and the Theatre of the Eighteenth Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Contents ix
  • Series Foreword xi
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Introduction xv
  • Chapter 1 Voltaire's Career Begins, 1694-1726 1
  • Notes 19
  • Chapter 2 Voltaire in England, 1726-1728 21
  • Notes 36
  • Chapter 3 Triumph in the Theatre, 1729-1743 39
  • Notes 57
  • Chapter 4 Voltaire at Court, 1743-1750 59
  • Notes 79
  • Chapter 5 Voltaire and Germany, 1750-1755 81
  • Notes 96
  • Chapter 6 Voltaire and the Philosophes, 1755-1760 97
  • Notes 118
  • Chapter 7 The Sage of Ferney, 1761-1769 121
  • Notes 138
  • Chapter 8 The Final Triumph, 1770-1778 141
  • Notes 155
  • Chapter 9 The Path to the Pantheon, 1778-1791 157
  • Notes 166
  • Chronology of Voltaire's Life 169
  • Further Reading 175
  • Index 179
  • About the Author 187
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 188

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.