|Intro||French translator and writer|
|Was||Translator Writer Historian Encyclopedist|
|Field||Literature Social science|
|Birth||5 October 1674, Beauvais, canton of Beauvais-Nord-Est, arrondissement of Beauvais, Oise|
|Death||16 January 1755, Paris, Île-de-France, France (aged 80 years)|
Nicolas Lenglet Du Fresnoy (5 October 1674 – 16 January 1755) was a French scholar, historian, geographer, philosopher and bibliographer of alchemy.
Lenglet Du Fresnoy first studied theology but quicky left it for diplomacy and politics. In 1705, Jean-Baptiste Colbert de Torcy appointed him Secretary for Latin and French languages to the Elector of Cologne, who lived in Lille. During the Regence, he returned to Paris and in 1718 the Regent took advantage of his skill to discover the accomplices of the Cellamare Conspiracy.
Afterwards Lenglet occupied himself only of his scholarly work and refused all offers made to him in France or abroad. Biting and sarcastic, he had many enemies, of which he derived vanity, saying: I want to be a frank Gaul in my style, as in my actions. His love of independence and opposition to royal censors earned him, under Louis XV, five periods of imprisonment in the Bastille, once in the Strasbourg citadelanother time in the Château de Vincennes. He died at almost 82 years after falling in the fireplace close to which he was reading. He was buried in the church or in the cemetery of the Église Saint-Séverin in Paris.
Lenglet, whose books contain treasures of erudition, was interested both in literary criticism as in hermetic philosophy, history or geography. He also edited the Roman de la Rose, Marot, Sigogne, Régnier, Motin, Berthelot, Maynard, La Henriade by Voltaire, Mémoires by Philippe de Comines, Pierre de L'Estoile, etc.
He reviewed articles on history and even wrote some in full for the Encyclopédie by Diderot and D’Alembert. He wrote under the pseudonyms "Edward Melton", "Albert Van Heussen", "C. Gordon de Percel" and "Gosford". He also wrote in Latin under the pen name "Lengletius".
In 1681, Géraud de Cordemoy published an anti-protestantist book, the conférence entre Luther et le diable au sujet de la messe with his commentaries, republished and widely distributed in 1875 by Isidore Liseux with commentaries by Nicolas Lenglet Du Fresnoy.