(2855 words)
  • Haydn Mason (Independent Scholar - Europe)

Voltaire’s life transcended the eighteenth century. Born while Louis XIV was still in his conquering prime, he died just a decade before the Revolution. Well before his death, the century was commonly referred to as “Le Siècle de Voltaire” (“The Age of Voltaire”). He became and remains to this day an iconic figure, a key symbol of the freedom to speak, write and, above all, think. “Osez penser par vous-même” (“Dare to think for yourself”), as the protagonist Boldmind (whose name reveals Voltaire’s admiration for intellectual freedom as he perceived it in England) adjures his fearful Portuguese companion Medroso (art. “

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Mason, Haydn. "Voltaire". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 January 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4561, accessed 30 June 2015.]

Articles on Voltaire's works

  1. Histoire de Charles XII [History of Charles XII]
  2. L'Ingénu [The Huron]