Voltaire cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons


French writer, historian, and philosopher

1694   -   1778


movement: free-thought, Age of Enlightenment, deism
genre: novel
country of citizenship: France
native language: French
languages spoken, written or signed: French
educated at: Lycée Louis-le-Grand
occupation: philosopher, poet, historian, essayist, playwright, autobiographer, diarist, poet lawyer, science fiction writer, encyclopédistes, correspondent, author, political scientist, writer
award received: Pour le Mérite for Sciences and Arts, Fellow of the Royal Society
position held: historiographer of France, seat 33 of the Académie française
influenced by: Blaise Pascal, Cicero, Lucian of Samosata, Pierre Bayle, Ibn Tufayl, Nicolas Malebranche, Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke, Zoroaster, Confucius, Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare, Jean Racine, Plato, John Locke, Isaac Newton

François-Marie Arouet (French: [fʁɑ̃swa maʁi aʁwɛ]; 21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), known by his nom de plume Voltaire (; also US: ; French: [vɔltɛːʁ]), was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his criticism of Christianity—especially the Roman Catholic Church—as well as his advocacy of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and separation of church and state. Voltaire was a versatile and prolific writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, histories, and scientific expositions. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was one of the first authors to become renowned and commercially successful internationally. He was an outspoken advocate of civil liberties and was at constant risk from the strict censorship laws of the Catholic French monarchy. His polemics witheringly satirized intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day.
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