François-Marie ‘Voltaire’ Arouet
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Franois-Marie Voltaire Arouet
Franois-Marie Voltaire Arouet
Early LifeFranois-Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire, was born on the 21st of November 1694, to Franois Arouet, a minor treasury official, and Marie Marguerite d'Aumart, a woman from a noble family in the Poitou Province.At the age of 12 Voltaire enrolled in the Collge Louis-le-Grand, a Jesuit secondary school in Paris. This was known as one of the most demanding schools in France.
From the moment he stepped out of college, Voltaire knew he wanted to be a writer. However, his father wanted him to be a lawyer.Voltaire spent much time in Paris, posing as the assistant to a lawyer, writing satirical poetry.His father found him out and sent him to study law in the provinces, but this did not stop Voltaire from writing, producing essays and historical studies.Some of his satirical writings became popular among the aristocrats.
Voltaire them moved to the Netherlands, where his father had found him a job as a secretary for the French Ambassador.it was there where Voltaire met Catherine Olympe Dunoyer, with whom he fell in love.They eloped, which caused his father to have him returned to France.
From the beginning of his career Voltaire had trouble with the authorities and the Catholic Church.As a result, he was imprisoned and exiled several times.In 1717, he was involved in the Cellamore conspiracy of Giulio Alberoli against the Duke of Orleans, Philippe II, the regent for Louis XV of France. Allegedly, he wrote satirical verses about the aristocracy and one of his pieces about the Regent led him to be imprisoned for 11 months, during which he wrote his famous play Oedipe.
In 1726, Voltaire insulted the powerful young nobleman, Chevalier De Rohan, and was given the 2 options of imprisonment or exile. He chose exile, and lived in England from 1726 until 1729.While in England Voltaire was attracted by John Lockes philosophies and the ideas of Sir Isaac Newton.He went on to study Englands Constitutional Monarchy and its religious tolerance.On return to Paris, Voltaire write a book praising England for its customs and institutions. The French authorities took this as a criticism of France and exiled him again in 1734.
Voltaire was invited to join Marquise du Chatelet at her estate in Luneville in Eastern France. They studied there for several years, focusing on the natural sciences.In 1746, Voltaire was voted into the Academie Francaise.In 1749, Marquise du Chatelet died, and Voltaire was invited by the King of Prussia to move to Potsdam. He lived there for 4 years and thn loved back to France.
In 1759, Voltaire bought and loved to an estate near the French-Swiss border, named Ferney.Ferney became the intellectual capital of France. It was from here that Voltaire wrote and produced many of his books, plays and other publications.At the age of 83 he travelled to Europe where he was welcomed as a hero. The trip was too much for him to handle and he died there in Paris. Because of his opposition to the church and criticism of religious intolerance and persecution, he was denied a burial on church grounds. He was buried at an abbey in Champange and then in 1791 his remains were moved to a resting place at the Pantheon in Paris.