Voltaire, French author

Voltaire, French author

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Caption: Voltaire (1694-1778). 1870 woodcut print of the French author and poet Voltaire reading at a desk. Born Francois Marie Arouet, Voltaire wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2000 books and pamphlets. Among his scientific works was 'Elemens de la Philosophie de Newton' (1738), a guide to the theories of Isaac Newton. Voltaire also wrote on history, philosophy, religion and politics. He was a fierce critic of social and political injustices, which led to several periods of exile or imprisonment. Over a decade after his death, the French authorities honoured him with a ceremonial re-burial in the Pantheon, Paris, in 1791.

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