Biography of Francois Marie Arouet (Voltaire)
Francois Marie Arouet, aka Voltaire, was born November 21st, 1694 in Paris, France. His intelligence, wit and style made him one of the most famous writers and philosophers of all time.
As a child Arouet attended "Louis-le-Grand" where he learned nothing but "Latin and the Stupidities." He then left school at the young age of 17 and quickly became a favorite amongst societies circles. However in 1717, young Arouet would get arrested by authorities for scathing satire on the French Government. While imprisoned for eleven months, he would write one of his most famous works, Oedipe, where he adopted the pen-name Voltaire.
Again in 1726 Voltaire would see trouble. After insulting a poweful nobleman, Chevalier De Rohan, Voltaire was given the choice of exile or imprisonment. Voltaire chose exile and from 1726-1729 he would live in England where he would study the philosophies of John Locke and Sir Isaac Newton. When returning to Paris after his exile, Voltaire wrote about the English customs and institutions. Once published the French government again banned Voltaire from Paris as his writings were interpreted as criticism against the government.
By invitation from Marquise du Chatelet, a woman friend, Voltaire would move to Luneville in eastern France. There he would study the natural sciences for several years and in 1749 was voted into the "Academie Francaise." After the death of his mistress, Voltaire would get an invitation from Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, to move to Potsdam. He would live there until 1753 when he left to return to France.
In 1759, Voltaire purchased an estate nicknamed "Ferney" near the Swiss border. After his purchase the land quickly became known as the intellectual capital of Europe. At Ferney, Voltaire would continuously work on plays, books and other writings.
At the age of 83, Voltaire would return to Paris once again, but this time with a hero's welcome. The return however would be too much for the elder man. His remains were denied burial on church grounds due to his criticism of the church. He was then given a rightful burial at an abbey in Champagne.
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