Raynal's 'Histoire des Deux Indes'

BookRaynal's 'Histoire des Deux Indes'

Raynal's 'Histoire des Deux Indes'

colonialism, networks and global exchange

Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2015:10


October 7th, 2015

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Histoire des deux Indes, was arguably the first major example of a world history, exploring the ramifications of European colonialism from a global perspective. Frequently reprinted and translated into many languages, its readers included statesmen, historians, philosophers and writers throughout Europe and North America. Underpinning the encyclopedic scope of the work was an extensive transnational network of correspondents and informants assiduously cultivated by Raynal to obtain the latest expert knowledge. How these networks shaped Raynal’s writing and what they reveal about eighteenth-century intellectual sociability, trade and global interaction is the driving theme of this current volume.
From text-based analyses of the anthropology that structures Raynal’s history of human society to articles that examine new archival material relating to his use of written and oral sources, contributors to this book explore among other topics: 

  • how the Histoire created a forum for intellectual interaction and collaboration; 
  • how Raynal created and manipulated his own image as a friend to humanity as a promotional strategy; 
  • Raynal’s intellectual debts to contemporary economic theorists; 
  • the transnational associations of booksellers involved in marketing the Histoire;
  • the Histoire’s reception across Europe and North America and its long-lasting influence on colonial historiography and political debate well into the nineteenth century. 


‘All of the essays are scrupulously researched, with extensive footnotes referencing primary and secondary sources, and the volume’s bibliography is a comprehensive guide to the booming field of Raynal studies. [It will form a] substantive contribution to the interdisciplinary study of the “global eighteenth century”.’
Modern Language Review

‘This volume of twenty essays constitutes a timely intervention into debates about global history, which, where studies of the eighteenth century are concerned, have been characterized by a certain scepticism’.
French Studies

‘Ce volume propose une moisson fort riche sur une œuvre considérable dans son étendue’.
-Dix-huitième siècle

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page4
Copyright Page5
List of Illustrations and Tables10
List of Abbreviations12
I. The Theme of Global Exchange in the Histoire Des Deux Indes32
La Logique Des echangcs Dans L'histoire Des Deux Inks34
Coconuts, Spice and Sugar: Indolence, Energy and Social Interaction in the Histoire Des Deux Indes48
Apostles of the State: Legitimate Colonisation Tactics in the Histoire Des Deux Indes60
Entre Rivalite D'émulation Et Liberté Commerciale: La Presence De L'école De Gournay Dans L'histoire Des Deux Indes 72
On Labelling Raynal's Histoire: Reflections in its Genre and Subject86
Y a-t-il Vraiment Une Ethnologie Chez Raynal? L'énfance De L'Art Américain Dans Les 'Deux Indes'102
Uncivilised Civilisation: Raynal and the Global Public Sphere116
II. Mediating Networks: The Making and Marketing of the Histoire Des Deux Indes132
Raynal Auto-Compilateur: Le Projet D'une Histoire Politique De L'europe Moderne - Des Memoires Historiques a L'histoire Des Deux Indes134
Ecriture Et Information: Aux Sources Du Reseau De Raynal150
La Seconde édition De L'histoire Des Deux Indes: Relations Entre Libraires Et Stratégic De Lancement Dans Les Annonces Des Gazettes162
From Antagonism to a Common Fate: Guillame-Thomas Raynal and William Robertson176
'Et Moi Suis-Je Sur Des Roses?': L'histoire Des Deux Lndes Entre L'Historiographie Espagnole, Leyenda Negra Et Discours Anticolonial188
The 'Supplément Au Journal De Bougainville': Representations of Native Canadians in the Histoire Des Deuxlndes200
III. The Histoire Des Deux Indes and Its Network of Readers212
Raynal and Sweden: Royal Propaganda and Colonial Aspirations214
Raynal and Holland: Raynal's Histoire Des Deux Lndes and Dutch Colonialism in the Age of Enlightenment230
Controverses Transatlantiques: Contenus, Enjeux Et Impact International De La Letter to the Abbé Raynal (1782) De Thomas Paine248
Louisiana as a Figment of the Imagination: Raynal's Reflections on the French American Colony260
L'histoire Des Deux Indes Et Le Dictionnaire Universel Des Sciences De Jean-Baptiste Robinet272
Raynal Sous Le Feu De Ses Adversaires: L'exemple De Joseph De Maistre290
Un Protestant Languedocien Admirateur De Raynal: L'histoire Des Deux Lndes Dans Le Fonds Louis Médard De Lunel304