Voltaire: A Life

Front Cover
Profile, Jan 1, 2010 - Authors, French - 538 pages
3 Reviews
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. Davidson tells the whole, rich story of his life (1694-1778) - his early imprisonment in the Bastille; exile in England and his mastery of English; an obsession with money, of which he made a huge amount; a scandalous love life; his infatuation with Frederick the Great; a long exile on the borders of Switzerland; his passion for watch-making; his human rights campaigns and his triumphant return to Paris to die there as celebrity extraordinaire. Throughout all of this Voltaire's life was always informed by two things: a belief in the essential value of toleration in the face of fanaticism; and in the right of every man to think and say what he liked. It is rare to have such a vivid portrait of a great man.

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Review: Voltaire: A Life

User Review  - Mj Travis - Goodreads

A nice introduction for a novice Voltaire reader. I found it easy to read and informative. The author doesn't pretend it's a definitive account on Voltaire. I would recommend it as a good place to start on matters Voltaire , his writings & contemporaries. Read full review

Review: Voltaire: A Life

User Review  - Tim - Goodreads

The point of biography is to tell the story of a life and - if possible - to tell you why that life in particular was significant. Ian Davidson's Voltaire: A Life does an excellent job of the first ... Read full review

About the author (2010)

Ian Davidson worked for the Financial Times for many years (among other things as Paris correspondent and as chief foreign affairs columnist). His earlier Voltaire in Exile (2004), was called 'powerful and illuminating ... revealing and disturbing' by the Sunday Times.

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