A parody of eighteenth-century adventure-romance and a satire on Liebnizian optimism ("all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds"), Candide follows the titular hero and his tutor, Dr. Pangloss, on a series of adventures after Candide is banished by his uncle for kissing his cousin. While enduring shipwreck, earthquakes, floggings, and several brushes with death, Candide comes face to face with the realities of life and the roots of evil.
Published in 1759, Candide is considered one of the most important works in Western literary canon. Because of its strong criticism of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the governments of France, Prussia, England, and Portugal, the novel was almost immediately banned in some countries. In the centuries since, Candide has been plagiarized, imitated, and adapted for film, television, and opera many times.
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Born in Paris in 1694, François-Marie Arouet, who would later go by the nom-de-plume Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment philosopher, poet, historian, and author. Voltaire's writing was often controversial, and in 1715 he was sent into his first ...