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School of Modern Languages & Cultures: Department of French

Staff in the Department of French

Go to the MLAC staff pages.

Dr Thomas Wynn, MPhil (Cantab), DPhil (Oxon)

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43465
Room number: A38, Elvet Riverside I

Contact Dr Thomas Wynn (email at


My research focuses on theatre, spectatorship and libertinage in early modern French literature and culture.

My monograph Sade's Theatre: Pleasure, Vision, Masochism was published in SVEC in 2007; my critical edition of François II, roi de France, arguably the first example of 'armchair theatre' in France, appeared in 2006; and my edition of rare erotic works by Delisle de Sales and Baculard d'Arnaud was published in 2011. In 2013 SVEC published my edited volume on the representations of violence in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, featuring articles on subjects such as Sade, trauma, and the mob in the French Revolution. In addition I have produced several critical editions for the Complete Works of Voltaire, and my preface for a recent volume of dramatic works can be read here. I am currently working on Voltaire's short prose works with Dr Helder Mendes Baiao on an MHRA-funded project.

With Professor Pierre Frantz (Paris-Sorbonne), I co-direct the international research group Phoenix. This network investigates the evolving relationship between theatrical representation and public reception in eighteenth-century France; we have published a volume of articles on dramatic space, and in assocation with Sophie Marchand we held a conference on metatheatre. We have published a series of critical editions of eighteenth-century plays; seven volumes have appeared (Monvel's Les Victimes cloîtrées; two comedies by Piron; erotic comedies; Laya’s L’Amis des lois; Baron's Le Rendez-vous des Tuileries; De Belloy's Le Siège de Calais; Lemercier's Christophe Colomb; and two plays by Sedaine.

My translation of the Marquis de Sade's controversial The 120 Days of Sodom appeared with Penguin Classics in September 2016. This volume is the result of collaboration with Dr Will McMorran (Queen Mary, London); The Economist praised this 'excellent translation', calling its introduction 'scholarly and wise'.

I am happy to receive applications for PhDs on topics in late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French literature and culture.


Authored book

Chapter in book

  • 2016 (co-authored with Waddicor, Mark) 'Doutes nouveaux sur le testament attribué au cardinal de Richelieu; Arbitrage entre M. de Voltaire et M. de Foncemagne A reply to Foncemagne', in (ed.), Complete Works of Voltaire, 58, Voltaire Foundation, pp. 343-526
  • 2014 'Compliment prononcé à l’ouverture du Théâtre-Français, le 11 avril 1763', in (ed.), Complete Works of Voltaire, Voltaire Foundation, pp. 341-358
  • 2013 'Violence, vulnerability and subjectivity in Sade', in Wynn, Thomas (ed.), Representing violence in France 1760-1820, Voltaire Foundation, pp. 139-160
  • 2012 'Charlot, ou la comtesse de Givry', in (ed.), Complete Works of Voltaire: Theatre 1766-1767, Voltaire Foundation, pp. 471-606
  • 2012 (co-authored with Niklaus, Robert) 'Les Scythes', in (ed.), Complete Works of Voltaire: Theatre 1766-1767, Voltaire Foundation, pp. 257-470
  • 2012 'Sade et la théâtralité dans Quills, la plume et le sang (2001)', in Jomand-Bury, Régine & Nuel, Martine (eds.), Images cinématographiques du siècle des Lumières, Éditions Kimé, pp. 125-136
  • 2011 'Libertinage', in Burgwinkle, William, Hammond, Nicholas & Wilson, Emma (eds.), The Cambridge History of French Literature, Cambridge University Press, pp. 412-419
  • 2011 'Prostitutes and erotic performances in eighteenth-century Paris', in Lewis, Ann & Ellis, Markman (eds.), Prostitution and Eighteenth-Century Culture: sex, commerce and morality, Pickering & Chatto, pp. 87-98
  • 2011 'The commonplace of theatre as a school of virtue: the case of Voltaire’s Tancrède (1760)', in Joop Koopmans & Nils Holger Petersen (eds.), Commonplace Culture in Western Europe in the Early Modern Period III: Legitimation of Authority, Peeters, pp. 131-149
  • 2011 'Un roi en coulisse: le François II du président Hénault', in Frantz, Pierre & Wynn, Thomas (eds.), La Scène, la salle et la coulisse dans le théâtre du XVIIIe siècle en France, PUPS, pp. 95-106
  • 2010 'L’Hôte et l’hôtesse', in Cronk, Nicholas (ed.), Complete Works of Voltaire. Writings of 1776-1777, Voltaire Foundation, pp. 293-322
  • 2009 (co-authored with Henderson, John S.) 'Tancrède', in Gargett, Graham & Gurrado, Antonio (eds.), Complete Works of Voltaire, Voltaire Foundation, pp. 259-263
  • 2007 (co-edited with Mason, H.T.) 'Poème sur la loi naturelle', in (ed.), Complete Works of Voltaire - Œuvres de 1750-1752 (II), Voltaire Foundation, pp. 1-96
  • 2006 'Lettre d’un Turc sur les fakirs et sur son ami Bababec', in (ed.), Complete Works of Voltaire - OEuvres de 1750-1752 (I), Voltaire Foundation, pp. 143-158
  • 2004 'Masochisme et le tableau sadien', in Norbert Sclippa (ed.), Lire Sade, L'Harmattan, pp. 245-257

Edited book

Edited Journal

Journal Article