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Fortunato de Félice - The Two Journals (1758-62)

Now more integrated into life in Bern, and from the success of his previous academic work, de Félice started a large new project. From his exposure to the comparatively liberal Bernese society, he realised how lacking Italy was in foreign literature. So, in January 1758 he founded the "Estratto della letteratura Europea".

In July that year he started another, this time in Latin which was aimed at merging Swiss and Italian works, named the "Excerptum totius italicae necnon helveticae litteraturae", which he co-wrote with his friend, Vincent-Bernard de Tscharner (1728-78), later Bailli d'Aubonne (1769-75).

Haller and another scientist, Elie Bertrand (1713-97) thought that these journals were an excellent idea and helped establish a press and bookshop in Bern. With its success, Tscharner founded the "Société Typographique". De Félice was editor in chief, whilst Tscharner helped out with some of the editing and was the main financier. The two worked together perfectly, complimenting each other.

The two journals gained much attention in the scientific and literary communities, though the Latin journal more so as it was increasingly rare that popular works would be published in Latin. Many important scientists of the day commented upon it, including Samuel Tissot (1728-97) and  J. G. Ritter von Zimmermann (1728-95) (George III's private physician) who described the Excerceptum in a letter to de Félice:

"...the Latin journal that you give to the public will be a great resource for all intellectuals  and will be particularly for I who have not read any journals for a long time..."

and in another letter, this time to Tscharner, of the 28th November 1758:

"...your Latin journal  is at the moment the most agreeable i have ever read. It is an infinite honour to you and de Félice and it caters to all one could wish for in this genre. It is with more great pleasure that I will create medical articles from time to time for this journal but on the condition that de Félice corrects my style. I have not written two lines of Latin for many years, I don't think since I was a schoolboy. De Félice gives me a considerable service in that respect."

De Félice's friend, Prince Raimondo di Sangro, also sent many letters to de Félice, but had to do so via proxy to avoid suspicion from the Neapolitan authorities, who still had not forgiven the young Count and Countess.


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