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Candide, Voltaire's biting portrayal of eighteenth-century European society, is a central text of the Enlightenment and essential reading for history students today. Preserving the text's provocative nature, Daniel Gordon's new translation enhancesCandide's read-ability and highlights the text's wit and satire for twentieth-century readers. The introduction places the work and its author in historical context, showing students how the complexities of Voltaire's life relate to the events, philosophy, and characters ofCandide. A related documents section with personal correspondence to and from Voltaire gives students another lens through which to view this influential thinker. Helpful editorial features include explanatory notes throughout the text and a chronology of Voltaire's life.
Daniel Gordon (Ph.D. University of Chicago) is associate professor of history at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and has also taught at Harvard University and Stanford University. He has served on the editorial staff of The Journal of the History of Ideas and Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture. His publications, including Citizens without Sovereignty (1994), deal with the Enlightenment and the history of Enlightenment scholarship in the twentieth century.
Table of Contents
PART I. INTRODUCTION: THE PARADOXES OF VOLTAIRE
The Duality of Voltaire Voltaire and the Old Regime Absolute Monarchy Nobility Religion
Candide The Unhappy Voltaire Voltaire against Leibniz Ridicule, Sex, Irony
Note on Voltaire's Vocabulary and the Present Translation
PART II. CANDIDE, OR OPTIMISM
PART III. RELATED DOCUMENTS Voltaire,Letter to Catherine-Olympe du Noyer, November 28, 1713 Voltaire,Letter to Frederick, Crown Prince of Prussia, October 15, 1737 Voltaire,Letter to François-Thomas-Marie de Baculard d'Arnaud, October 14, 1749 Voltaire,Letter to Jean-Robert Tronchin, November 24, 1755 Omer Joly de Fleury,Letter to Henry-Léonard-Jean-Baptiste Bertin, February 24, 1759 Voltaire,Letter to Gabriel and Philibert Cramer, February 25, 1759 Elie Fréron, Review of Candide, 1759
APPENDICES A Voltaire Chronology (1694–1791) Questions for Consideration Selected Bibliography