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Short Biography of Voltaire

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Pen name of Francois-Marie Arouet (1694-1778) was a French writer, who devoted himself to tolerance, justice, and humanity.

He was threatened with arrest for Lettres philosophiques sur les anglais/Philosophical Letters on the English in 1733, essays in favour of English ways, thought, and political practice, and had to take refuge. Other writings include Le Siecle de Louis XIV, The Age of Louis XIV in 1751; Candide in 1759, a parody on Leibniz's "best of all possible worlds"; and a Dkuonnaire Philosophique in 1764.

Born in Paris, son of a notary, he adopted his pen name in 1718. He was twice imprisoned in the Bastille and exiled from Paris between in 1716 and in 1726 for libellous political verse. Oedipe/Oedipus, his first essay in tragedy, was staged in 1718.

While in England 1 726-1729 he dedicated an epic poem on Henry IV, La Henriade/The Henriade, to Queen Caroline, and on returning to France published the successful Histoire de Charles XII, History of Charles XII 1731, and produced the play Zaire in 1732. He took refuge with his mistress, the Marquise de Chatelet, at Cirey in Champagne, where he wrote the play Mirope in 1743 and much of Le Siecle de Louis XIV.

Among his other works are histories of Peter the Great, Louis XV, and India, La Pucelle/The Maid, on Joan of Arc; the satirical tale Zadig in 1748; and the tragedy Irene in 1778.

In 1751-1753 he stayed at the court of Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia, who had long been an admirer, but the association ended in deep enmity. From 1754 he established himself near Geneva - after 1758 at Ferney, just across the French border. His remains were transferred in 1791 to the Pantheon in Paris.

Tags: writer, verse, poem, epic, refuge, histories

Category: Others  - ( Others Archive)

Date Added: 04 July '12

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