external image frederick_voltaire_study33k.jpgVoltaire and His Life

Marvin Carlson talks about how Voltaire’s birth name is Francois Marie Arouet, and that he was born on November 21 in the year 1694. He’s surprised that Voltaire was claimed “bastard of Rochebrune”, because Voltaire was the youngest of 3 surviving children of his mom and dad. Marvin doesn’t discuss his dad’s death but his mom died when he was seven years old, and he grew close to his grandfather, who was a free thinker like him.
The website grade saver tells that Voltaire attended law school from 1711 to 1713, and then became a secretary to the French ambassador in Holland. After that he spent ALL his time to the vocation of writing. Those days, in order to publish a writing piece, it needed a royal stamp. Voltaire was often caught in “polemical attacks” with the government and the Catholic Church. He often had legal confusion, and was forced into various exiles and imprisonments.
Another website called “Poem Hunter” states that in 1717 he, again got him self into trouble with the authorities. Voltaire went to prison in the Bastille for almost a year, (eleven months) for writing a degrading satire of the French government. During the time that Voltaire was in prison he wrote an “oedipe” that became his first success in the theater business. This “oedipe” adopted his name “Voltaire” from his birth name Francois Marie Arouet.
images-13.jpegPetri Liukkonen says Voltaire had multiple problems with the authorities but he was still so excitedly committed to debating the government and the Catholic Church. These actions that took place of disbeliefs, led to many more imprisonments and exiles. Voltaire did not support the theology of institutional religions, [Voltaire considered it “dogmatic”], also its interesting to know that voltaire was an atheist of some sort.
Robin Chew shares about Voltaire’s woman friend [Marquise du Chatelet] who was highly intelligent invited Voltaire to move into her place called “Chateau de Cirey” near Luneville, in eastern France. Together they studied natural sciences for several years. In the year 1746, Voltaire was voted into the Academic Franchise”. Three years later his friend died and he was invited from the king of Prussia [Frederick] and he moved to Potsdam. 9 years later he moved back to France.
external image voltaire.jpgPaul Brian tells readers about how, as an essayist Voltaire defended freedom of speech and religious tolerance. Voltaire considered himself a deist, believing god existed to create our world, but not god of the bible. Voltaire never liked believing about a perfect society, but on a whole.
Aubrey Little writes an amazing essay on Voltaire, some info in it tells that Voltaire spent much of his time working on recording history to include the field of economics, culture, war, and politics. Voltaire was also a scholar in being true to the world and he was also a “shrewd businessman”. He believed that practicing religion was a waste of time, she says. She stated that he believed that religion was a vehicle for bigotry and superstition.
Priya Johnson discusses how Voltaire spent his last years of his life fighting for the injustice and the rights of the oppressed. He had experienced a lot of injustice in his life and it caused him to feel strongly for those who experience it as well. Voltaire became seriously ill and died on May 30, 1778. Voltaire was 83 years old when he passed, leaving behind many volumes of his writings and works.

Voltaire Quotes:

Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.


Work banishes those three great evils, boredom, vice, and poverty.


Common sense is not so common.

VOLTAIRE, Dictionnaire Philosophique

Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy: the mad daughter of a wise mother.


O superstition! Your inflexible rigours deprive humanity of the most sensitive hearts.

VOLTAIRE, Fanatacism, or Mahomet the Prophet

Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.

VOLTAIRE, quoted in William R. Shad's The Whole Truth

Men who are occupied in the restoration of health to other men, by the joint exertion of skill and humanity, are above all the great of the earth. They even partake of divinity, since to preserve and renew is almost as noble as to create.

VOLTAIRE, "Physicians," Philosophical Dictionary

History can be well written only in a free country.

VOLTAIRE, letter to Frederick the Great

What is called happiness is an abstract idea, composed of various ideas of pleasure; for he who has but a moment of pleasure is not a happy man, in like manner that a moment of grief constitutes not a miserable one.

VOLTAIRE, A Philosophical Dictionary

Happiness is not the portion of man.


Constant happiness is the philosopher's stone of the soul.

VOLTAIRE, A Philosophical Dictionary

Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts.

VOLTAIRE, Dialogue

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