He became hugely wealthy by exploiting a flaw in the French lottery.
While he appreciated the classical taste the college instilled in him, the religious instruction of the fathers served only to arouse his skepticism and mockery. He witnessed the last sad years of Louis XIV and was never to forget the distress and the military disasters of nor the horrors of religious persecution.
He retained, however, a degree of admiration for the sovereignand he remained convinced that the enlightened kings are the indispensable agents of progress.
He decided against the study of law after he left college. Employed as secretary at the French embassy in The Hague, he became infatuated with the daughter of an adventurer. Fearing scandal, the French ambassador sent him back to Paris.
After the death of Louis XIV, under the morally relaxed Regency, Voltaire became the wit of Parisian societyand his epigrams were widely quoted.
Behind his cheerful facade, he was fundamentally serious and set himself to learn the accepted literary forms. Inafter the success of Oedipe, the first of his tragedieshe was acclaimed as the successor of the great classical dramatist Jean Racine and thenceforward adopted the name of Voltaire.
The origin of this pen name remains doubtful. It is not certain that it is the anagram of Arouet le jeune i. Above all he desired to be the Virgil that France had never known. He worked at an epic poem whose hero was Henry IVthe king beloved by the French people for having put an end to the wars of religion.
These literary triumphs earned him a pension from the regent and the warm approval of the young queen, Marie.
He thus began his career of court poet. United with other thinkers of his day—literary men and scientists—in the belief in the efficacy of reasonVoltaire was a philosopheas the 18th century termed it. In the salons, he professed an aggressive Deismwhich scandalized the devout.
He became interested in England, the country that tolerated freedom of thought; he visited the Tory leader Viscount Bolingbrokeexiled in France—a politician, an orator, and a philosopher whom Voltaire admired to the point of comparing him to Cicero.
His intellectual development was furthered by an accident: His destiny was now exile and opposition. Exile to England During a stay that lasted more than two years he succeeded in learning the English language; he wrote his notebooks in English and to the end of his life he was able to speak and write it fluently.
He was presented at court, and he dedicated his Henriade to Queen Caroline.
Though at first he was patronized by Bolingbroke, who had returned from exile, it appears that he quarrelled with the Tory leader and turned to Sir Robert Walpole and the liberal Whigs. He admired the liberalism of English institutions, though he was shocked by the partisan violence.
He envied English intrepidity in the discussion of religious and philosophic questions and was particularly interested in the Quakers. He was convinced that it was because of their personal liberty that the English, notably Sir Isaac Newton and John Locke, were in the forefront of scientific thought.
He believed that this nation of merchants and sailors owed its victories over Louis XIV to its economic advantages. Return to France He returned to France at the end of or the beginning of and decided to present England as a model to his compatriots.
His social position was consolidated. By judicious speculation he began to build up the vast fortune that guaranteed his independence. He attempted to revive tragedy by discreetly imitating Shakespeare. At the same time, Voltaire had turned to a new literary genre: The interest he felt for the extraordinary character of this great soldier impelled him to write his life, Histoire de Charles XIIa carefully documented historical narrative that reads like a novel.
Philosophic ideas began to impose themselves as he wrote: Great men are not warmongers; they further civilization—a conclusion that tallied with the example of England.
It was this line of thought that Voltaire brought to fruition, after prolonged meditation, in a work of incisive brevity: These fictitious letters are primarily a demonstration of the benign effects of religious toleration. A philosopher worthy of the name, such as Newtondisdains empty, a priori speculations; he observes the facts and reasons from them.
After elucidating the English political systemits commerce, its literature, and the Shakespeare almost unknown to France, Voltaire concludes with an attack on the French mathematician and religious philosopher Pascal: This small, brilliant book is a landmark in the history of thought: The action of Alzire—in Lima, Peru, at the time of the Spanish conquest—brings out the moral superiority of a humanitarian civilization over methods of brute force.Biography.
François-Marie Arouet was born in Paris, the youngest of the five children of François Arouet (19 August – 1 January ), a lawyer who was a minor treasury official, and his wife, Marie Marguerite Daumard (c. – 13 July ), whose family was . "Maximilien de Robespierre – , a French lawyer, politician, and one of the best-known and most influential figures of the French Revolution.
July 29, . Voltaire is one of, if not the, most dominant Enlightenment figures, and his death is sometimes cited as the end of the period. The son of a lawyer and educated by Jesuits, Voltaire wrote widely and frequently on many subjects for a long time period, also maintaining correspondence.
A leading figure of the Enlightenment, his works include Candide ()). The real name of Voltaire () was François-Marie Arouet. Like many leading figures of the Enlightenment, he was multi-talented. During a long career, he was a historian, a social . Jan 21, · Francois-Marie Arouet (), also known as Voltaire, was no doubt one of the most influential philosophers throughout the entire Enlightenment period. Voltaire was born in Paris and he was the son of a lawyer. 10 Philosophers of the French Revolution. Political philosophy influenced the French Revolution. François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire) A French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit Important figure during the Enlightenment Co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to .
François-Marie d'Arouet (–), better known by his pen name Voltaire, was a French writer and public activist who played a singular role in defining the eighteenth-century movement called the . Jan 21, · Francois-Marie Arouet (), also known as Voltaire, was no doubt one of the most influential philosophers throughout the entire Enlightenment period.
Voltaire was born in Paris and he was the son of a lawyer. François-Marie Arouet (French: According to Orthodox rabbi Joseph Telushkin, the most significant Enlightenment hostility against Judaism was found in Voltaire; despite a protracted campaign, the criminal code that sanctioned the execution was revised during Voltaire's lifetime.
In , Alma mater: Collège Louis-le-Grand.