(2786 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. “Liberté de penser” (“Freedom …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Mason, Haydn. "Voltaire". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 January 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4561, accessed 01 October 2016.]

Articles on Voltaire's works

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