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The Encycolpedie had many enemies and in consequence its continued publication volume by volume, was constantly threatened. It was also subject to censorship and Lamoignon de Malesherbes was respon...sible for appointing the specialized censors. But the greatest problem for the work was created by D'Alembert's article (in volume 7) on 'Geneva', for he used this as a pretext for thinly veiled criticisms of France. Voltaire apparently collaborated with D'Alembert on this article which set the Protestant virtues of the Genevan pastors against the rigid conservatism of the Sorbonne theologians and, on the other hand suggested to the Genevans that if they were to allow theatre to flourish there this would enhance their reputation for liberal mindedness. But the exceptional beliefs of a few pastors were used - yet giving the impression that these beliefs were typical of Genevans in general. Trouble came from all quarters, religious and secular. D'Alembert refused to go on with the work; Voltaire and Rousseau quarrelled irrevocably, attempts were made to make Diderot resign too. And how could what D'Alembert had written have got past the censors? In the event, Diderot refused to resign and eventually both D'Alembert and Voltaire consented to contribute to the remaining volumes. The Encyclopedie was eventually completed in 1765 - the illustrations being finished in 1772.
Metadata describing this Open University audio programme
Module code and title: A204, The Enlightenment
Item code: A204; 14
Recording date: 1979-03-30
First transmission date: 27-05-1980
Published: 1980
Rights Statement: Rights owned or controlled by The Open University
Restrictions on use: This material can be used in accordance with The Open University conditions of use. A link to the conditions can be found at the bottom of all OUDA web pages.
Duration: 00:18:49
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Producer: Miriam Newman
Contributors: John Cocking; Hugh Dickson
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): D'Alembert; Diderot; Encyclopedie; Voltaire
Master spool number: TLN13950H822
Production number: TLN13950H822
Available to public: no