The Circulation of Literary News and Forbidden Books Between Paris and The Hague in early 18th Century

July 04, 2024 - 16 h 00

Hôtel Dupanloup
1 rue Dupanloup
45000 Orléans


In late 17th-century and early 18th-century France, printers, writers, and booksellers worked under complex rules. A strict system established by the censorship office made life difficult for those who wanted to print documents criticizing the Catholic church or the monarchy.  Holland held a dominant position in printing many of these documents and, therefore, became an attractive destination for many authors. The Dutch book market was still in its Golden Age, and its prestige also attracted several French refugees who settled in the country to find work in the numerous bookshops. Their professional activities are at the heart of an important communication system with France. In this presentation, I will study the circulation of books and literary news sent from Paris to The Hague and from The Hague to Paris. To do so, I will proceed in two steps. First, I will introduce the archive of the Journal littéraire, and then, I will analyze the letters sent by the book printer Henri du Sauzet to Paris.

At this time, The Hague was, along with Rotterdam and Amsterdam, an important city for the book market, and it was there that English author and publisher Thomas Johnson launched a periodical which quickly achieved notoriety: the Journal littéraire. I will study specific cases of cultural and commercial exchanges in relation to the book market and intellectual history by analyzing literary news sent from Paris to this journal. Finally, I will analyze letters from The Hague-based book printer Henri du Sauzet to Paris containing a list of books he was sending. I hope this paper will shed new light on the book trade between France and Holland in the first decades of the 18th century.


Prof. Sébastien Drouin


FROM: University of Toronto - CA
IN RESIDENCE AT: POuvoirs, LEttres, Normes (POLEN)  / University of Orléans - FR

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