23. Jean Formey (1711–1797), a French Huguenot scholar, son of refugees from the persecutions of the French monarchy after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, is a good example of the very important part played by the Huguenots in the background of the Enlightenment and of the Encyclopedia specifically. They were journalists, dictionary-makers, popularizers, reformers, and transmitters of ideas from England and the Low Countries. Bayle could be considered the spiritual father of the Encyclopedia in many respects. The chevalier de Jaucourt, a Huguenot nobleman who made the completion of the work possible by writing single-handedly approximately one-fourth of the articles, served as a bridge from the scholars of the Huguenot Dispersion to the heart of the Encyclopedia.

 [ return to text ]