Voltaire the Freethinker, Episode 84


Voltaire the freethinker seeking freedom in France

Voltaire the Freethinker

When Voltaire the Freethinker died on May 30th 1778 in Paris at age 83, he was at the height of his popularity with most people, yet the Catholic Church denied him a proper burial. By 1778 he had produced work of every genre: plays, poems, essays, satire, novels, history, and even scientific observations. He was prolific, more than 20,000 letters as well as 2,000 books and pamphlets are credited to him.

Voltaire the Freethinker was popular with the people, so 3 years after his death, after the French Revolution too, his body is moved to the Pantheon where his epitaph reads: “Il combattit les athées et les fanatiques. Il inspira la tolérance, il réclama les droits de l’homme contre la servitude de la féodalité. Poète, historien, philosophe, il agrandit l’esprit humain, et lui apprit à être libre.”

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.
  • French Tip of the Week: Je suis une pipelette = I am a chatterbox.
  • To Prepare For Your Trip: Candide, FREE on Kindle
  • Places Mentioned on the Show: Cirey-sur-Blaise

Episode Highlights

  • Voltaire the freethinker was Born François-Marie Arouet in Paris on November 21, 1694
  • Voltaire was educated at a High School that still exists today: Louis-le-Grand
  • He joins the “Société du Temple” which espouses freethinking and libertine ideals
  • His mother was progressive but his father was very conservative
  • Imprisonments at the Bastille
  • Voltaire, a prolific author
  • Exile to England, major works
  • Calling for social reform
  • Working against a corrupt Judicial system
  • Censorship in France
  • Voltaire didn’t get rich from books
  • Cirey-sur-Blaise
  • Voltaire’s popularity
  • Summary of the Jean Calas scandal in Toulouse
  • The Lisbon earthquake and how it affected Voltaire

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One thought on “Voltaire the Freethinker, Episode 84”

  1. Very interesting – thanks! I read Candide for the first time a few months ago and I found it modern, relevant and thought provoking.

    -Matt

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