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The Essay - Enlightenment Voices - Diderot - Part 4


Dr Caroline Warman explores Denis Diderot's passionate interest in women, both personally and as the victims of intolerance and injustice. The love letters of Denis Diderot to his mistress Sophie Volland are amongst the most passionate and touching of all Enlightenment writing. According to Dr Caroline Warman, an expert in the French Enlightenment at Jesus College, Oxford, "they sizzle the pages they are written on". In this evening's Essay, Caroline Warman explores Diderot's passionate interest in women, both from a personal point of view and as victims of injustice and intolerance. She introduces his erotic novella, Indiscreet Jewels, and his semi-pornographic novel, The Nun, while unpacking Diderot's serious and stimulating exploration of the abuse of power and the human appetite for pleasure.