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Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: 11/21/1694 in Paris, France
Died: May 30, 1778 in Paris, France
François-Marie Arouet (1694-1778), who wrote under the pen name Voltaire, was a leader of the Enlightenment. French by birth, though often living abroad, he was a lifelong advocate of limited government and of religious freedom, especially critical of the Catholic priesthood. He wrote plays, poems, novels, histories and philosophical essays. Perhaps his best known works are his novel Candide (1759) and his Philosophical Dictionary, usually dated 1764 but a lifelong project. His ideas influenced the American and French Revolutions, though he did not live to see the culmination of either. His fears expressed in this letter were certainly justified. The church denied him a Christian burial, and he was hurriedly buried by friends. In 1791, the French National Assembly ordered his body exhumed, and he was re-interred with high honors in the Pantheon in Paris.

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