Ireland and the French Enlightenment, 1700-1800
By what channels did the French Enlightenment reach the eighteenth-century Irish reader, and what was its impact? What were the images of Ireland current in France? What did philosophes like Montesquieu and Voltaire think of the country and its people? These are the questions which a team of scholars attempt to answer in this volume. Part I explains who could read French and evaluates the reception of French thought in areas like periodicals and scientific exchange as well as looking at reactions to Montesquieu, Voltaire and Rousseau. Part II examines the views of Ireland and the Irish prevailing in Enlightenment France. Part III explores the transmission of ideas through the importation of French books and translations from a number of cosmopolitan centres, and the thriving trade in Dublin reprints of the 'best-sellers' among these titles. Appendix I catalogues contemporary Irish literary periodicals and their French contents: Appendix II provides an extensive list of French books and translations connected with the Enlightenment and published in Ireland in the period 1700-1800. These appendixes will provide a useful tool for further research.