Voltaire's brilliant satirical assault on what he saw as the naively optimistic philosophy of the Enlightenment, Candide, or Optimism is a dazzling picaresque vel, translated and edited by Theo Cuffe with an introduction by Michael Wood in Penguin Classics. Brought up in the household of a German Baron, Candide is an open-minded young man whose tutor, Pangloss, has instilled in him the belief, inspired by Leibniz, that 'all is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds'. But when his love for the Baron's rosy-cheeked daughter is discovered, Candide is cast out to make his own fortune. As he and his various companions roam over the world, an outrageous series of disasters befall them - earthquakes, syphilis, a brush with the Inquisition, murder - sorely testing the young hero's optimism. In Candide, Voltaire threw down an audacious challenge to the philosophical views of his time, to create one of the most glorious satires of the eighteenth century. Theo Cuffe's translation brilliantly conveys Voltaire's acerbic humour. In his introduction, Michael Wood discusses Voltaire's satirical attack on contemporary philosophy. This edition also contains a map, extensive tes, table of dates, further reading and appendices including extracts from Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary. Francois-Marie Arouet (1694-1778), better kwn by his pseudonym Voltaire, was a French writer and satirist, the embodiment of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. Among his best-kwn works is the satirical vel Candide (1759). If you enjoyed Candide, you might like Laurence Sterne's The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, also available in Penguin Classics. 'The prince of philosophical vels' John Updike, author of Rabbit, Run '[An] excellent new translation' Robert McCrum, Observer
Voltaire (1694-1778) French writer, satirist, the embodiment of the 18th-century Enlightenment. Among his best-known works is the satirical short story CANDIDE (1759). Michael Wood (introducer) is currently Straut Professor of English at Princeton. His books include Stendhal, America in the Movies, The Magician's Doubts, Franz Kafka, and The Road to Delphi. Theo Cuffe (translator) has also translated a selection of Voltaire's short stories for Penguin, Micromegas and Other Short Fictions.