The Enlightenment Philosopher, the Atheist Disciple, and the Interned British Romantic: the Biography that might have been – a Niklaus-Cartwright Lecture
Niklaus-Cartwright Lecture: The Enlightenment Philosopher, the Atheist Disciple, and the Interned British Romantic: the Biography that might have been.
|Date||2 October 2023|
|Time||18:30 to 20:30|
|Place||Queens Building Lecture Theatre 1, Queens Building, The Queen's Drive, Exeter, EX4 4QH|
|Provider||General University news and events|
Alumni are warmly invited to attend the third Niklaus-Cartwright 18th Century France lecture.
Visiting speaker Professor Caroline Warman from the University of Oxford will lecture on: ‘The Enlightenment Philosopher, the Atheist Disciple, and the Interned British Romantic: the Biography that might have been’.
Caroline Warman is Professor of French Literature and Thought at Jesus College Oxford. She is the author of Sade: from materialism to pornography (2002) and The Atheist’s Bible: Diderot’s Éléments de physiologie, which jointly won The R. Gapper Book Prize 2021. She is the translator of Isabelle de Charrière’s The Nobleman and Other Romances (Penguin Classics, 2012) and (with Kate E. Tunstall) of Diderot’s Rameau’s Nephew (2014). In 2016, she led a group of 102 Oxford tutors and students in a collective translation project, Tolerance: The Beacon of the Enlightenment, which has been read and downloaded more than 50,000 times.
The lecture will follow the story of a little known British Romantic, George Leman Tuthill, who interned in France after the failure of the Treaty of Amiens. George dreamed up a plan to write a biography of pre-eminent philosophe Denis Diderot in English; hoping it would be the first to appear in any language. He wrote to Diderot’s literary executor and passionately atheist devotee, Jacques-André Naigeon, in 1805 but received no reply; three months later he wrote again, and still received no reply. The talk will explore what happened, who Tuthill was, why Naigeon did not reply but kept the letters, what Napoleon’s role in the story is, how Caroline found it in the archive of the Bibliothèque Carnegie de Reims in 2019, and what this hitherto unknown connection between British Romanticism and one of the Enlightenment’s most radical thinkers tells us.
The lecture commences at 6.30pm on Monday 2 October in Lecture Theatre 1, Queen’s Building.
Guests are warmly welcome to stay for refreshments afterwards.
The lecture will appeal to alumni with an interest in the Humanities, particularly 18th Century France.
The Niklaus-Cartwright lecture is named after two eminent French academics, Professor Robert Niklaus, former Head of French at Exeter and his student Michael Cartwright who went on to become an eminent academic in his own right and generously bequeathed funding for French at Exeter. Both Niklaus and Cartwright were experts in 18th century French.
This is a hybrid event, please make sure to specify your choice of attendance in the booking form below:
Queens Building Lecture Theatre 1, Queens Building, The Queen's Drive, Exeter, EX4 4QH