1694, a baby named Francois-Marie Arouet was born in Paris. As a teenager, he developed a passionate curiosity, a deep-seated love of learning, and an intense hatred of intolerance and tyranny. When he began writing against religious intolerance and abuses of governmental authority, he was exiled from Paris and even imprisoned for a time in the Bastille.
After adopting a now-famous pen name, he ultimately became one of the thinkers who lit the flame of “The Enlightenment” (so called because it signified the use of reason as a guide to life instead of religious dogma or government authority).
One of history’s most influential thinkers, he was also one of the most prolific, producing works as a philosopher, playwright, novelist, poet, historian, and essayist. He also wrote more than 20,000 letters, many to the most influential figures of his era, including King Frederick of Prussia (“Frederick the Great”).
His many literary contributions include the classic satirical novel “Candide” (1759)and the “Philosophical Dictionary” (1764). He also kept a “Notebook” for many decades, but it was not published in English until more than a century after his death. In an entry written circa 1850, he wrote:
“We all look for happiness, but without knowing where to find it:like drunkards who look for their house, knowing dimly that they have one.”
What was the pen name of this famous writer?