Voltaire – 1694 to 1778 – French Philosopher
Voltaire, was the pen name of Francois Marie Arouet. He was a philosopher, satirist, historian, novelist, and dramatist.
He was born in Paris, educated by Jesuits. He studied law, then turned to writing.
He sharply attacked the political institutions of his time in a brilliant and witty prose style. This brought him fame, but he gained enemies at court, and was forced to go into exile in England (1726-9).
Back in France, he wrote plays, poetry, historical and scientific treatises, and his Lettres philosophiques. He moved to Berlin at the invitation of Frederick the Great (1750-3). In 1755 he settled near Geneva, where he wrote the satirical short story, ‘Candide’ a satire against social wrongs. Voltaire’s philosophical writings helped bring about the Fr. Revolution.