Imago Mundi at the Château de Grignan Lire en Fête was celebrated in France from the 13th to the 15th October 2000. The Conseil général de la Drôme, the Centre de recherche sur la littérature des Voyages of the Université de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) and the Centre de Recherches Littéraires Pluridisciplinaire of the Université de Nice have combined their efforts to organise a cycle of three colloquia entitled Imago Mundi. The theme for the year 2000 was Lettres et images d'Europe: the image of European countries through lettres covering historical, literary, anthropological and iconographical perspectives from the 16th to the 20th centuries. The choice of the Château de Grignan for this European meeting was not fortuitous. It was at this château that between 1671 and 1696 Madame de Sévigné addressed to her daughter, the comtesse de Grignan, 764 letters many of which, published after her death, established her reputation as a writer. Ms Carmen Depasquale, lecturer in French, was invited to participate in this colloquium as an "ambassador of Malta". Her paper was entitled Malte, 'abrégé de l'Europe': quelques lettres de Daydie, Froullay et Dolomieu. A young knight's impressions of Malta and life at sea through the eyes of a general of the galleys are the themes of two letters by the bailli de Froullay. The letters of chevalier Daydie are those of an observer who comments on Maltese events in which the principal actor is the ambassador of the Order in Paris. One letter of commander Dolomieu describes Malta as an astronomer's paradise, however, many of his letters to his French and Italian friends depict his anger and disappointment vis-à-vis the advisers of Grand Master Rohan who, by their intrigue and abuse of the law precipitate the end of the Order's rule in Malta.
A live recording of the proceedings of the colloquium was registered and can be viewed, together with the activities of the Centre de Recherche sur la Littérature des Voyages (CRLV), Université de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) on website http://www.crlv.org.
13 October 2000