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Shady

Colin Jones: Voltaire’s Loneliness

25 May 2006
Voltaire Almighty: A Life in Pursuit of Freedom 
by Roger Pearson.
Bloomsbury, 447 pp., £18.99, November 2005, 0 7475 7495 2
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Le Monde des salons 
by Antoine Lilti.
Fayard, 572 pp., £30, October 2005, 2 213 62292 2
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... sort of company, but would have to work hard to retain such friendships in the literary world. As Antoine Lilti points out in his fine new study, Le Monde des salons, literary celebrity of the kind Voltaire sought was adjudicated and calibrated on the Parisian salon circuit. He had a heady introduction to this aspect of French cultural life when scarcely ...

Twilight Approaches

David A. Bell: Salon Life in France

11 May 2006
The Age of Conversation 
by Benedetta Craveri, translated by Teresa Waugh.
NYRB, 488 pp., £17.99, October 2005, 1 59017 141 1
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... writers and artists. But this institution also served some very serious social purposes, as Antoine Lilti shows in his new book Le Monde des salons: sociabilité et mondanité à Paris au XVIIIème siècle.* It was a site for the socialisation of elites, for the negotiation of patronage relationships, for competition between different aristocratic ...

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