Voltaire, French author

Voltaire, French author

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Credit: COLLECTION ABECASIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Voltaire (1694-1778). 1868 artwork of the French author and poet Voltaire. 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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