Ruth Scurr

Conversations between truth and power

Though fascinated by the Enlightenment, Catherine the Great ignored the philosophe’s ‘grand principles’, preferring to discuss literature instead

Denis Diderot (1713–84) is the least commemorated of the philosophes. Calls for his remains to be moved to the Panthéon on the tricentenary of his birth in 2013 were ignored. He has not taken his place alongside Rousseau and Voltaire in the Parisian vaults of fame, even though he was no less radical or progressive.

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