The Journal de Lausanne was the first weekly journal of the Pays de Vaud published over a period of several years. With a life span of six years and an estimated circulation of 250-350 copies the journal was-in terms of the local press market of these days-relatively successful. It was the enterprise of one man, Jean Lanteires (17561797), a former apothecary, who determined its character and content and wrote a large part of the articles. ln a similar manner as many other journals, it consisted of four weekly pages containing reports and letters on various aspects of arts, sciences and trade considered to be of general interest. Practical subjects such as agriculture and medicine and topics with a local or national connection were particularly weil represented.
Like most journals of the 18th century, the Journal de Lausanne claimed to aim at a broad dissemination of useful knowledge. ln contrast to most of its rivais, however-and that is the central argument of Nicoli's book-, it was not intended to be read mainly by a poli te and erudite elite but by the 'people'. It thus occupied an intermediary position between the learned journals such as the Gentleman's Magazine or the Mercure de France and the almanacs. ln her analysis, Nicoli focuses on articles dealing with medicine (173) and physics (44) in order to reveal the intentions of the editor and the response of the readers. Whereas the majority of the physical pieces were written by the editors, half of the medical on es were letters written by the readers. A large part of these letters deal with remedies which are recommended or sought by the sick and their relatives. For Nicoli, this shows that the readers were mainly interested in matters of practical and daily importance and Lanteires in fact seems to have reached the public he had aimed at. Nevertheless, Lanteires gave up his enterprise. He had envisaged his journal as a repository of knowledge to which naturalists and physicians as weil as the 'simple people' would contribute. But he was supported only by few savants, and no physician from Lausanne contributed to the Journal. Lanteires' ideal of exchange seems to have conflicted with the more paternalistic attitude of his learned contemporaries. Without their support, he was unable or unwilling to continue this time-consuming project.
Thanks to Jean Sgard's dictionaries of journ