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The definitive biography of Voltaire’s life― from his scandalous love affairs and political machinations to his brilliant philosophy.We think of Voltaire as the epitome of the enlightenment; in his own time he was also the most famous and controversial figure in Europe. This dazzling new biography celebrates his extraordinary life.
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After graduating in Classics from Cambridge, Ian Davidson worked for the Financial Times for many years as their Paris correspondent and chief foreign affairs columnist. He is also the author of Voltaire (Pegasus) and Voltaire in Exile (Grove). Ian lives in England.From Publishers Weekly:
A new biography of Voltaire the man is long overdue, and Davidson (Voltaire in Exile) has done an admirable job in writing it. Voltaire, né Marie-François Arouet (1694–1778), the personification of the Enlightenment, is presented as a multifaceted and often contradictory individual whose devotion to tolerance and pluralism was frequently offset by his cowardice and self-concern. A child of privilege, he cemented his well-to-do status through involvement in a shady lottery scheme and celebrated life with a succession of mistresses before settling on his married niece as his mistress of choice. Voltaire' s ability as a playwright and writer is examined as is his commitment to the rationalist Encyclopédie. His commitment to human rights did not truly develop, according to Davidson, until he reached middle age, with his involvement in the Calas and de La Barre cases, miscarriages of justice that marked a turning point in French judicial history. Regrettably, the description of the first part of Voltaire' s life is a bit tedious, and overall this biography would have benefited from more information on French society as a whole during the 18th century. But Voltaire emerges from the story as a champion of civil liberties whose flaws were decidedly human. 16 pages of illus.; maps.
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Book Description Pegasus Books, 2010. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111605981192
Book Description Pegasus Books, 2010. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1605981192