(real name François Marie Arouet; 16941778). Hist., philos.; b. Paris, Fr.; educ. by Jesuits; wrote provocative satire; imprisoned 171718, 1726; 172629 in Eng.; influenced by deism* and Enlightenment*; 175053 at court of Frederick II (171286; the Great; b. Berlin, Ger.; king of Prussia 174086); at Ferney, near Geneva, Switz., 175878; d. Paris.
Voltaire was a strong promotor of deism. Antagonized by RCm, he adopted the motto Écrasez l'infame! (Crush the infamous one!) and bitterly opposed every form of Christianity. His opposition against all absolutism helped bring on the Fr. Revolution (see Church and State, 15; France, 5). Works include tragedies; novels; poems; Dictionnaire philosophique; Essay sur l'Histoire génerale et sur les moeurs et l'esprit des nations, depuis Charlemagne jusqu'à nos jours.
See also Encyclopedists.
J. Morley, Voltaire (London, 1872); N. L. Torrey, Voltaire and the English Deists (New Haven, Connecticut, 1930) and The Spirit of Voltaire (New York, 1938).
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