Voltaire

1694 – 1778   Author, Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Political Activist

François-Marie Arouet (‘Voltaire’ was a pen-name) was arguably the outstanding man of his century. Author of more than 2,000 works, Voltaire was renowned for his attacks on absolute monarchy and the privileged nobility and for his support of freedom of religion and freedom of the press. His pointed barbs resulted in him being twice imprisoned in the infamous Bastille and being exiled from both France and Prussia. The French Republic held Voltaire to be one of the leaders of the revolution. He was given a state funeral and over one million people lined the procession route.

Lodge of Nine Sisters, Paris

Quotes

“All sects are different, because they come from men; morality is everywhere the same, because it comes from God.”

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

“Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference.”