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Memoirs of the Life of Monsieur de Voltaire (Hesperus Classics) Paperback – September 28, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1843911524 ISBN-10: 1843911523

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Product Details

  • Series: Hesperus Classics
  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: Hesperus Press (September 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843911523
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843911524
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,304,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Written with . . . ferocious wit and energy."  —Rain Taxi Review of Books

About the Author

Philosopher François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694–1778), a vociferous supporter of social reform and one of the most influential figures of his time, was the author of Candide and L'Ingénu.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Blumenau TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 2, 2014
Format: Paperback
This rather little known work by Voltaire, a mere 78 pages long, begins in 1733 when he met the very intellectual Mme de Châtelet and moved with her from Paris into the countryside at Cirey. But soon he turns to the main subject of his memoir: the story of his relationship with Frederick the Great. He finished writing it up in 1760 when he was 66 and had another eighteen years to live.

Frederick had invited him to Berlin as soon as he became king in 1740. He did visit him occasionally and they corresponded a great deal; but he was too attached to Mme de Châtelet to leave her and told Frederick that “philosopher for philosopher, I preferred a lady to a king.” But Mme de Châtelet died in 1748, and in 1750 Voltaire took up residence at Potsdam. By 1753 he and Frederick had fallen out; so his account has a mocking and jaundiced tone. He disparages the poems Frederick wrote; he (rightly) points out the discrepancy between, on the one hand, the noble ideas Frederick had penned, before his accession to the throne, in the Anti-Machiavel and, on the other, the Machiavellian way in which he behaved at the very time that book was published; Voltaire hints broadly at Frederick’s homosexual interests.

He dismisses the three years he spent at Potsdam in just six pages. He enjoyed the dinners with the King; tells how he spent two hours a day with him, correcting his written work; bitches about La Mettrie and Maupertuis, his French rivals st the court; says he was seduced by a loving letter Frederick had written to him, but records being told by La Mttrie that Frederick had compared him to an orange which can be discarded once the juice had been swallowed.
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