In 1753, Voltaire - playwright, poet, philosopher, and one of the most feted figures in Europe - was forced into exile by King Louis XV, where he would remain for the last 25 years of his life. This period heralded a startling new beginning for this remarkable character during which Voltaire became a successful entrepreneur and wrote his masterpiece Candide. Cast out by the establishment, he also developed astonishingly modern ideas about human rights, borne out in his campaigns against a series of miscarriages of justice. Ian Davidson has drawn on the rich correspondence between Voltaire and his family, members of the Court at Versailles and the French intellectual elite, to paint a wonderful portrait of the man declared by Diderot to be 'the unique man of the century'.
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