Biography of Voltaire | French writer.

(François-Marie Arouet;) Paris, 1694 - id., 1778) French writer. It was the dominant intellectual figure of his century. He left a heterogeneous and uneven, literary work that highlight his stories and books of ideological controversy. As a philosopher, Voltaire was a great Communicator, and his secular and anticlerical creed oriented theorists of the French Revolution.
Voltaire studied at the Jesuits of the College of Louis-le-Grand in Paris (1704-1711). His godfather, the Abbé de Châteauneuf, introduced him in the libertine of the Temple society. He was in the Hague (1713) as Secretary of Embassy, but a love affair with the daughter of a Huguenot refugee, forced him to return to Paris. He started the tragedy Oedipus (1718), and wrote some disrespectful verses, directed against the Regent, that earned you the imprisonment in the Bastille (1717). "Once freed, was banished to Chatenay, where he adopted the pseudonym of Voltaire, anagram of Arouet le Jeune" or the place of origin of his father, Air-vault.

An altercation with Knight of Rohan, where he was beaten by the minions of this (1726), led to Voltaire to Bastille; After five months, was released and exiled to Britain (1726-1729). At the Court of London and in the British literary and commercial media was welcomed warmly; the British influence began to orient their thinking. He published Henriade (1728) and got a great theatrical success with gross (1730); in the History of Charles XII (1731), Voltaire carried out a harsh critique of the war, and the satire the Temple of taste (1733) attracted the enmity of the Parisian literary environments.
But his most scandalous work was philosophical letters or English letters (1734), in which Voltaire makes a brilliant report on Britain in pointed criticism of the French regime. Order of arrest, was issued but managed to escape, taking refuge at Cirey in the Lorraine, where, thanks to the Marquise de Chatelet could lead a life according to your taste of work and social treatment (1734-1749).
The success of his tragedy Zaïre (1734) Voltaire moved to try to rejuvenate the genre; He wrote Adelaide du Guesclin (1734), the death of César (1735), the Americans or Alzire (1736), Muhammad or fanaticism (1741). Less fortunate are his plays the prodigal son (1736) and Nanine or vanquished prejudice (1749). At this time it disclosed the elements of the philosophy of Newton (1738).
Certain compositions, like the Poem of Fontenoy (1745), finished him into the Court, which made diplomatic missions to Federico II. Louis XV appointed him historiographer royal, and entered the French Academy (1746). But it failed to attract Mme. de Pompadour, who was protecting Crébillon; his rivalry with this playwright led him to try to discredit him, trying to the same themes that he: Semiramis (1748), Orestes (1750), etc.
Their loss of prestige in the Court and the death of Mme. du Châtelet (1749) prompted Voltaire to accept the invitation of Federico II. During your stay in Potsdam (1750-1753) he wrote the age of Louis XIV (1751) and continued, Micromégas (1752), her stories series begun with Zadig (1748).
After a violent break with Federico II, Voltaire settled near Geneva, on the property of «Les Délices"(1755). Geneva collided with the rigid Calvinist mentality: his theatrical interests and the chapter dedicated to Servetus in his essay on manners (1756) shocked the Genevois, while it enajenaba the friendship of Rousseau. Its disrespectful poem about Juana de Arco, the maiden (1755), and their collaboration on the encyclopedia collided with the «devotee» of the Catholic party. Fruits of its crisis of pessimism were the poem on the Lisbon disaster (1756) and the short novel Candide (1759), one of his masterpieces. He settled on the property of Ferney, where Voltaire lived for eighteen years, become the European Patriarch of the letters and the new critical spirit; There he received to the elite of the major countries of Europe, represented their tragedies (Tancrède, 1760), kept a copious correspondence and multiplied the subversive and controversial writings, aiming to "crush the infamous», i.e., clerical bigotry.
His works of this period are the Treaty on tolerance (1763) and the philosophical dictionary (1764). He denounced vehemently the errors and injustices of court rulings (cases of coves, serve, La Barre, etc.). Freed of the gabelle to his vassals, which, thanks to Voltaire, could engage in agriculture and watchmaking. Shortly before he died (1778), became it a triumphal reception in Paris. In 1791, his remains were transferred to the pantheon.
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