|Biographical Notes||The Académie de Marseille was the first in France to launch a prize contest on the question of the usefulness of travels. In 1763, it was launched under the title ‘Comment peut-on, en même-tems, rendre les voyages utiles à soi-même et à sa patrie?’, (‘How can we make travelling useful both to ourselves and to the nation?’)'. For reasons not known, they withdrew this prize, and re-launched it the following year as a poetry prize, under the simplified title 'Des voyages' ('Travels').|
We don't know how many answers came to the first question - it is possible that Thorel de Campigneulles's 'Des voyages' was initially drafted for the 1763 contest. Histories of the Académie state that the 1764 poetic contest had three submissions. It is true that there are three entries in the relevant folder in the archives of the Académie, but this is on top of the two prize-winners, Delille's "Epître sur les voyages" and the "Epître d'un père" of Mailly and François (de Neufchâteau). There might have been further pieces submitted - the jury sometimes unceremoniously destroyed unworthy submissions.
The composition of the jury isn't known. They published their own versions of the two prize-winning poems in 'Recueil des pièces couronnées en MDCCLXV par l’Académie des Belles-Lettres de Marseille, Marseille, Antoine Favet,
1765'. From this publication, we can see that Delille published a considerable extended version of his original submission - and already his initial submission was longer than the allowed maximum length, and was accepted only due to its obvious merits.
See Jean-Baptiste Lautard, Histoire de l’Académie de Marseille (Marseille, 1829, II/434) and Louis-Toussaint Dassy, L’Académie de Marseille, ses origines, ses publications, ses archives, ses membres (Marseille, 1873), 493, as well as Gabor Gelléri's "Lessons of Travel in Eighteenth-Century France' (Martlesham, 2020), 142-146.
|Work(s)||Academic Judge/Jury of Marseille dissertation no. 2 (1764) in Marseille dissertation no. 2. MS|
Academic Judge/Jury of Marseille Dissertation No. 3 (1764) in Marseille dissertation no. 3. MS
Academic Judge/Jury of Marseille Dissertation No. 1 (1764) in Marseille dissertation no. 1. MS
Academic Judge/Jury of Epître à mon fils, sur les voyages (1768) in Poésies diverses de deux amis, ou Pièces fugitives de M. M. D. D. et de M. F. D. N. E. L.
Academic Judge/Jury of Epitre sur les voyages (1765)