The Portable Voltaire

Front Cover
Penguin Books, 1977 - Fiction - 569 pages
67 Reviews
This collection contains Candide (Part I complete); three of his finest stories; a cross-section of his brilliant letters; more than seventy articles from the unique Philosophical Dictionary; a number of wide-ranging essays; and the long poem:The Lisbon Earthquake.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: The Portable Voltaire

User Review  - Frances Margaret - Goodreads

I remember picking this up at the university library and I had to take it home with me. Good stuff. Was not able to finish the entire thing though as I had to return it to the library. I haven't found a copy of that book anywhere... Read full review

Review: The Portable Voltaire

User Review  - Anthony Zupancic - Goodreads

Voltaire is funny. That is enough for me. He also has a critical eye that exposes absurdity and societal problems. Like Ambrose Bierce's "The Devil's Dictionary," the passages from "Selections..." are amazing nuggets of satirical craft that are a delight to read. Read full review

About the author (1977)

François-Marie Arouet, writing under the pseudonym Voltaire, was born in 1694 into a Parisian bourgeois family. Educated by Jesuits, he was an excellent pupil but one quickly enraged by dogma. An early rift with his father—who wished him to study law—led to his choice of letters as a career. Insinuating himself into court circles, he became notorious for lampoons on leading notables and was twice imprisoned in the Bastille.

By his mid-thirties his literary activities precipitated a four-year exile in England where he won the praise of Swift and Pope for his political tracts. His publication, three years later in France, of Lettres philosophiques sur les Anglais (1733)—an attack on French Church and State—forced him to flee again. For twenty years Voltaire lived chiefly away from Paris. In this, his most prolific period, he wrote such satirical tales as “Zadig” (1747) and “Candide” (1759). His old age at Ferney, outside Geneva, was made bright by his adopted daughter, “Belle et Bonne,” and marked by his intercessions in behalf of victims of political injustice. Sharp-witted and lean in his white wig, impatient with all appropriate rituals, he died in Paris in 1778—the foremost French author of his day.

Bibliographic information