Voltaire Almighty: A Life in Pursuit of Freedom

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9780747579571: Voltaire Almighty: A Life in Pursuit of Freedom
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During much of his life Voltaire's plays and verse made him the toast of society, but his barbed wit and commitment to reason also got him into trouble. Jailed twice and eventually banished by the King, he was an outspoken critic of religious intolerance and persecution. His personal life was as colourful as his intellectual one. Voltaire never married, but had long-term affairs with two women: Emilie, who died after giving birth to the child of another lover, and his niece, Marie-Louise, with whom he spent his last twenty-five years. With its tales of illegitimacy, prison, stardom, exile, love affairs and tireless battles against critics, Church and King, Roger Pearson's brilliant biography brings Voltaire vividly to life.

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About the Author:

Roger Pearson is Professor of French at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Queen's College. He has translated and edited Candide and Other Stories for Oxford World's Classics and is the author of The Fables of Reason: A Study of Voltaire's Contes Philosophiques. His other publications include books on Stendhal and Mallarme.

Review:

'The book is an admirable achievement; it makes a compelling narrative out of the multiple character of Voltaire's gifts, the teeming output of his pen, and the complicated nature of eighteenth-century France ... A delightful read' A. C. Grayling, Literary Review 'Excellent, acidly witty ... Pearson has constructed his narrative like a picaresque novel, with chapters promising sensational changes of fortune ... or salacious tattle' Observer 'Voltaire Almighty is a lively and erudite tribute to its subject' Sunday Telegraph 'Sparklingly witty and eminently readable' Sunday Times

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