Brought up in the household of a powerful Baron, Candide is an open-minded young man, whose tutor, Pangloss, has instilled in him the belief that 'all is for the best'. But when his love for the Baron's rosy-cheeked daughter is discovered, Candide is cast out to make his own way in the world. And so he and his various companions begin a breathless tour of Europe, South America and Asia, as an outrageous series of disasters befall them - earthquakes, syphilis, a brush with the Inquisition, murder - sorely testing the young hero's optimism.
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Wootton's edition is clearly the best on the market--the supporting material is brilliantly chosen and lavishly presented given the cost of the book. --Michael Kulikowski, Smith College Along with a brisk and very readable rendition of the text, this edition provides the material necessary for understanding the point of Voltaire's satire. Wootton's Introduction gives an excellent account of the dispute over optimism, and the supplementary texts show both the opposing points of view in this dispute, and its development on other texts of Voltaire. --Christopher J. Kelly, co-editor, The Collected Writings of Rousseau I annually assign Voltaire's Candide in my Western Civilization since 1500 course. This semester I am using the Hackett edition, having used at least three other editions in the past. What I especially find useful in your edition are the Related Texts. I think they are essential for understanding what Voltaire was addressing. The translation is lively, the notes quite useful, and Wotton's introduction thorough. I don't recall another edition that includes a map. All of these features in an inexpensive paperback--the other editions I've used can't match it. --Steven Werner, University of Wisconsin-WaukeshaAbout the Author:
Voltaire is the penname of Francois-Marie Arouet, who was born on November 21, 1694, in Paris, France. He was the youngest of five children of a lawyer and treasury official and a woman from a noble family. Educated by the Jesuits at the College Louis-le-Grand from 1704 until 1711, he learned Latin, Greek, Italian, Spanish, and English. Though his father wished for him to become a lawyer also, Francois-Marie decided he wanted to become a writer. While working as an assistant to a notary, Arouet spent most of his time writing poetry. His father then forced him to study law in Caen, Normandy, but still he continued to write. Arouet had a quick wit, which made him very popular, and he obtained a job as secretary to the French ambassador in the Netherlands. There, he became engaged to Catherine Olympe Dunoyer, but their marriage was foiled by his father, and he returned once again to France. In 1718, he parted ways with his family and took the Latinized spelling of his surname, and created the name Voltaire. He used at least 178 different pennames during his lifetime. Due to an argument with a French nobleman, Voltaire was exiled to England for three years. Returning to Paris in 1729, he began an attempt to reform the French judicial system, using ideas he had learned from the English, writing plays, and studying the scientific works of Sir Isaac Newton. In 1736, Frederick the Great began to write to Voltaire and in 1742, the French government sent him to spy on Frederick, to discover his plans after the First Silesian War. In 1744, he began a relationship with his niece, which lasted for the rest of his life. He began receiving a salary from the king, but after writing an offensive article, Frederick had him arrested. Voltaire ended up being banned from Paris, so he bought a large estate in Geneva. The law there, banned publication of his works, so in 1758, he moved to Ferney, where he wrote “Candide” in 1759. Beginning in 1762, Voltaire became a champion for unjustly accused people. In 1778, his close friend Benjamin Franklin initiated him as a Freemason. That same year, he returned to Paris, but the five day journey took its toll. He died on May 30, 1778, in Paris, at the age of 83. Because of his criticism of the Church, he was denied a Christian burial, nut some of his friends secretly buried him at the Abbey of Scellieres in Champagne. His heart and brain were embalmed separately. In 1791, his remains were enshrined in Paris.
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