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In his 84 years, Voltaire was a historian and essayist, playwright and storyteller, poet and philosopher, wit and pamphleteer, wealthy businessman and practical economic reformer. Yet, he is remembered best as an advocate of human rights. True to the spirit of the Enlightenment, he denounced organized religion and established himself as a proponent of rationality.

Voltaire is one of the greatest French authors and philosophers of the 18th century. Only a few of his works are still read today, most notably his "Candide", which is a strongly anti-romantic comic novel.

He is known worldwide as a supporter against tyranny, bigotry, and cruelty. His is a singular wit, that mastered the satirical genre of his age. He vigorously propagated an ideal of progress to which men of all nations have remained responsive. Voltaire is such a revered person that there is a foundation dedicated to his life and works. Websites of all types honor this man.

For those who speak only English, you might want to check out the Voltaire Society of America. At this Web site, you can view accounts of visits with Voltaire at Ferney by others of significant note.

To learn a little about the man you can check out this brief biography of Voltaire with links to other sites about Voltaire.

The Other Major resource would be the Hanover Website about Voltaire. This page at Hanover University contains links to Voltaire's works and other resources. One such resource is Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary. This is the HTML Version of Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary at the Hanover Web site. This particular page is the table of contents. (English translation)

The only problem that I have found in researching this article, was the lack of translated material that Voltaire had written during his lifetime. The majority of his works that do exist on the Internet are in French.

'Candide', the strongly anti-Romantic comic novel, is the work by Voltaire most read today. His other writings include 'Zadig' (1747), 'The Century of Louis XIV' (1751), 'Micromegas' (1752), 'The Russian Empire under Peter the Great' (1759-63), 'The Philosophical Dictionary' (1764), and 'Essay on Morals' (1756).

More Resources on Voltaire

For more insight on Voltaire and 18th century Philosophy check out these websites on the topic.

  1. Voltaire
    This is the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry about Voltaire.  It gives a good overview of this important philosopher of the 18th century.
  2. Voltaire Quotes
    The BrainyQuote website provides some famous quotes attributed to Voltaire.
  3. Voltaire Foundation
    This is the foundation is a world leader for 18th century scholarship.  It published the definitive edition of the Complete Works of Voltaire.
  4. Philosophies of the Enlightenment
    This page discusses the philosophies of the Enlightenment and lists the major contributors to this thought.
  5. Age of Enlightenment
    The international Association of Scottish Philosophy as some information about the enlightenment that you may find usefull.