Candide, or the Optimist is Voltaire’s hilarious and deeply scathing satire on the Age of Enlightenment.
Part of the Macmillan Collector’s Library, a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket-sized classics with gold-foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition features an introduction by Dr Marine Ganofsky.
Young nobleman Candide lives a sheltered and comfortable life under the tutorship of the ridiculous Dr Pangloss who espouses the prevailing 18th century philosophy of Optimism. Following an indiscretion, Candide is cast out into the world which according to Pangloss is ‘the best of all possible worlds’. But this is not so – Candide and his companions encounter nothing but ludicrous calamities in their madcap travels around the world – war crimes, earthquakes, inquisitions and chain gangs - all based with horrible closeness on real events of the 18th century.
Voltaire’s searing critique of church, state and human nature was a bestseller from the moment it was published.
About the Author
Imprisoned in the Bastille at the age of twenty three for a criminal libel against the Regent of France, Jean-Fransois Marie Arouet was freed in 1718 with a new name, Voltaire, and the completed manuscript of his first play, Oedipe, which became a huge hit on the Paris stage in the same year. For the rest of his long and dangerously eventful life, this cadaverous genius shone with uninterrupted brilliance as one of the most famous men in the world. Revered, and occasionally reviled, in the royal courts of Europe, his literary outpourings and fearless campaigning against the medieval injustices of church and state in the midst of the ‘Enlightenment’ did much to trigger the French Revolution and to formulate the present notions of democracy. But above all, Voltaire was an observer of the human condition, and his masterpiece Candide stands out as an astonishing testament to his unequalled insight into the way we were and probably always will be.