Anyone who studies the historical writing of the eighteenth century soon becomes aware of the great contribution — great at least in bulk — of émigré Huguenot scholars, the victims of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Driven out of France, dissidents from the established culture of the grand siècle, and yet, at the same time, self-consciously French, refusing to be assimilated — at least for so long as they might hope to return with dignity to France — into the society of their host-countries, they became the representatives of an alternative France, the intermediaries between the two cultures of Europe: the firm classical-Catholic-Cartesian synthesis of the France of Louis XIV and the diversity of Europe.1


Historical Writing English History Historical Philosophy Grand Inquisitor Norman Conquest 
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  1. 1.
    For the general character of Huguenot literature and scholarship, I am much indebted to the posthumously published work of Erich Haase, Einführung in die Literatur des Refuge (Berlin, 1959).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Voltaire, Oeuvres Complètes (Paris, 1825) Vol. XXXIV, pp. 326–8.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    J. Leclerc, Parrhasiana (Amsterdam, 1699–1701) I, p. 137, cited in E. Haase, Einführung, pp. 433–4.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    For Rapin’s biography see Raoul de Cazenove, Rapin-Thoyras, sa famille et ses oeuvres (Paris, 1866).Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    This is stated by Jean Rou, who no doubt had it from Rapin: ‘c’estoit sa Majesté même, le grand Guillaume, qui l’avoit obligé de se charger de cette commission. (Jean Rou, Memoires inédits et opuscules, edited by F. Waddington, (Paris, 1857), Vol. II, p. 226.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    Rapin to Portland, 2 March 1701, in N. Japikse, Correspondentie van Willem III en … Portland (Hague, 1927–37). Vol. I, p. 529.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    This is clear from a reference in Leclerc‘s Bibliothèque Ancienne et Moderne (1722) Vol. XVIII, where Rapin is said to have been working on his History for seventeen years quoted in Joseph Dedieu, Montesquieu et la Tradition Politique Anglaise en France (Paris, 1909), p. 87.Google Scholar
  8. 17.
    R. Shackleton, Montesquieu (Oxford, 1961) pp. 292.Google Scholar
  9. 18.
    P. A. Sayous, Le 18e siècle a l’étranger (Paris, 1861), Vol. I, p. 52.Google Scholar

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© Hugh Trevor-Roper 1987

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  • Hugh Trevor-Roper

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