During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, travel literature became increasingly popular and influential in Europe, as more people travelled and brought back tales from far-off lands. The Far East, in particular China, came very much to the fore at the end of the seventeenth century and provided an important example of tolerance which contrasted starkly with the persecution rife in Europe. Travel accounts about such countries had a strong impact on Pierre Bayle (1647-1706), a Huguenot exiled in Rotterdam who had himself suffered persecution and in his writings waged a ceaseless campaign against it. Without the ideas borrowed from
récits his writing would not be what it is.