Voltaire Almighty: A Life in Pursuit of Freedom

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Nov 7, 2005 - History - 447 pages

With its tales of illegitimacy, prison, stardom, exile, love affairs, and tireless battles against his critics, priests and king, Roger Pearson's Voltaire Almighty brings the father of Enlightenment to vivid life.

Voltaire Almighty provides a lively look at the life and thought of one of the major forces behind European Enlightenment. A rebel from start to finish (1694-1778), Voltaire was an ailing and unwanted bastard child who refused to die; and when he did consent to expire some eighty-four years later, he secured a Christian burial despite a bishop's ban.

During much of his life Voltaire was the toast of society for his plays and verse, but his barbed wit and commitment to human reason got him into trouble. Jailed twice and eventually banished by the king, he was an outspoken critic of religious intolerance and persecution. His personal life was as colorful as his intellectual life. Of independent means and mind, Voltaire never married, but he had long-term affairs with two women: Emilie, who died after giving birth to the child of another lover, and his niece, Marie-Louise, with whom he spent the last twenty-five years of his life. The consummate outsider; a dissenter who craved acceptance while flamboyantly disdaining it; author of countless stories, poems, books, plays, treatises, and tracts as well as some twenty thousand letters to his friends: Voltaire lived a long, active life that makes for engaging and entertaining reading.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - speaker43 - LibraryThing

This was a fun book to read. I wanted to learn about Voltaire, and this was a good biography. I haven't read any other biographies of Voltaire, so I can't compare it with all of the others. But it ... Read full review

Voltaire almighty: a life in pursuit of freedom

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Pearson (French, Oxford; ed. and trans., Candide and Other Stories ) has written a captivating and revealing book about one of the giants of the French Enlightenment, Voltaire (n Franois-Marie Arouet ... Read full review

Contents

Of Uncertain Birth 16941704
9
White Nights and Early Nights 17111718
32
Back to the Bastille 17181726 4 8
48
England Land of Libeny 17261728
69
From Bonanza to Bombshell 17281733
85
Sex in Blue Stockings _i7351735
109
and how two rmkolds turned a Mind
127
Worms in the Apple 17361739
142
Hello and Goodbye to Berlin 17491753 2 13
215
l4 A Niece for a Wife 01 Househunting
236
and roots our iryamy
283
April Foolery 17681769
323
The Last Act 17761778
364
Out Like a Candle MarchMay 1778
381
and to tap tbzflamz bumfng
395
cunnm CALL
411

Berlin 01 Paris? 17391745
162
U The Way of the World 117451748
182
Death of a Lover 0481749
196
Stilt Bililepr
437
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Roger Pearson is Professor of French at Oxford. He has translated and edited Candide and Other Stories for Oxford World's Classics and has written several books on notable Frenchmen.

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