Interesting facts from the life of Voltaire, a famous French writer, are presented in this article.
Voltaire interesting facts
1. The writer began to use the pseudonym “Voltaire” after the success of his tragedy “Oedipus” (1719). The surname Voltaire was created with the help of anagram (permutation and adding letters in words) of the real name of the writer: Arouet le j (eune) - Arue Jr.
2. Voltaire's working day lasted from 18 to 20 hours. At night, he often got up, woke up the secretary and dictated to him, or he wrote himself. On the table by his bed were always pen and paper prepared for work. Dictating drama or poetic lines of tragedy, he acted like a man possessed. “In order to write poetry, you must have a line inside,” said Voltaire.
3. Voltaire was a man of broad and diverse interests. His apartment in the estate of Ferney on the Franco-Swiss border, where Voltaire spent about 20 years, he turned, in his own words, into a small kingdom, in which he received guests from all over Europe. From here Voltaire also conducted his famous correspondence (with the Prussian king Frederick II, the Russian empress Catherine II, the Polish king Stanislav Augustus Poniatowski, the Swedish king Gustav III, the Danish king Christian VII.) Only Louis XV was hostile to him. After the death of Voltaire, an ardent admirer of his work, the Russian Empress Catherine II bought his library - 6902 volumes of books and 20 volumes of manuscripts.
4. Voltaire criticized everything and everyone, but he subjected religion to particularly merciless criticism. “How do you feel about God?” Voltaire once asked. “We say hello, but don’t talk,” the writer replied. At the same time, Voltaire was not an atheist and the existence of God not only recognized, but also tried to prove scientifically. It is Voltaire who owns the famous statements:
“It is impossible to believe in God, not to believe in him is absurd”
“If God did not exist, he should be invented.”
Unlike the official church, Voltaire believed that God created the universe, but was removed from further interference in all matters. Such a philosophy is called deism, and it teaches that one can know God only with the help of reason, not faith.
5. Voltaire had a sense of humor . Returning incognito to Paris, Voltaire was stopped by police officers who began to question about things prohibited by law. Voltaire said: “The only smuggling in the carriage is me!”
6. For his seditious works, Voltaire was imprisoned in the Bastille . When the opportunity presented itself, he sent an original request to the Prince Regent of France: "I beg you, do not worry about my housing and food." And signed "Oedipus."
7. The funeral of Voltaire. Before his death, the "old sinner" nevertheless expressed a wish that he should be buried according to the church rite. Priests categorically refused to comply with the writer's last request. Relative of Voltaire, Abbot Migno placed the body of the deceased Voltaire in his carriage, provided him with the sleeping posture, and in this form, through gendarme posts, transferred him to Champagne, in his abbey Sellier, where the writer was buried. Voltaire’s ashes were reburied in 1791, during the French Revolution, in Paris, in the church of St. Genevieve — the Pantheon of the great people of France. But the posthumous ordeals of the writer did not end there. During the so-called restoration of the monarchy in France (1814-1815), a group of fanatical Catholics kidnapped the body of the writer and destroyed him in a hole with quicklime. Voltaire’s coffin is now kept in the Pantheon, and the urn with his heart is in the National Library of Paris. It says: "My heart is here, but my spirit is everywhere."
8. Voltaire wrote 54 works of various genres
Now you know interesting stories from the life of Voltaire, and if you recall something else interesting write in the comments)