Contents Introduction: Aims and Terms
Pages 16

The translation between the vernaculars was becoming ever more common as well as remunerative, in the newly transnational conditions of the commercial book trade. The self-translation involves French as one of the bilingual writer's languages because French was in many aspects a lingua franca of the early modern era. The concept of universal human thought as capable of existing unanchored in time and cultural space, notably transcending language differences, explains why ideas may, without ceasing to be the same, be presented under different forms, and be compounded or decompounded in the words used to express them. Yet we should also note that in contrast to heady success and confidence in the vernaculars usually by professional translators and academics but also by other writers. Just as the translators accompanying the exiled English court to Paris in the seventeenth century helped shape British translation history in part through their experience of the French practice.