French polemical political writings were numerous during the long 18thcentury. They involved hidden political games of courtly parties fighting against each other.

The research project Pamphlet and Patrons (2021–2026) explores the relation between these polemical prints and their patrons, who often remained in the shadows. The project uses both classical historical methods and Digital Humanities tools. 

Pamphlet and Patrons aims to rewrite the history of the public sphere, by showing that the public sphere in general, and more particularly unauthorised political literature, were largely shaped by members of the royal court.

The project is funded by the European Research Council (ERC), directed by Damien Tricoire and hosted by the History Department of the University of Trier.


Dukes and princes for freedom: The role of courtiers in the pamphleteer production of the Society of the Thirty (1788-1789) (Benoît Carré)

Enlightenment writers’ remuneration (database) (Benoît Carré)

The Power-Broker and the Obstructionist: Conti and his Writers between Power and Opposition (1748-1776) (Simon Dagenais)

“Jansenist” Networks and Clandestine Publications in the Late 17th Century (Nele Döring)

Conflict Management under the Regency of Philippe d’Orléans (Miranda Kam)

A French Fronde: The Faction of the Duc d’Orléans and the Making of the French Revolution (1785-1789)(Damien Tricoire)

The Social Conditions of Radical Political and Religious Thought: Enlightenment philosophes and Aristocratic Patronage in France (Damien Tricoire)