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Candide, by Voltaire - click to see full size image

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Candide by Voltaire was first published in 1759. A satrical novel, it tells the story of Candide, a young man who lives a very privileged life in the castle of his uncle, Baron Thunder-ten-Tronckh in Westphalia. Also living there is the Baron's daughter, Cunégonde, and Professor Pangloss. The Professor teaches Candide about Leibnizian optimism. Named after Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, a German philosopher who justified any imperfections in the world by saying, well, that's how God wanted the world, so the situation must be the best it can be, because God wouldn't create an imperfect world. One day, Candide entices the Baron's daughter to kiss him, and for this, he is kicked out of the castle. He gets a rude awakening when he is then captured and forced into military service where he is flogged and made to participate in a battle. Candide gradually becomes filled with a slow disillusionment over the hardships he sees happening around him, especially when he runs into his old Professor who tells him the horrific events that occurred to the Baron and his family during the battle. This leads him to coming up with his own concept of how 'we must cultivate our garden', rather than the one he was taught before - 'all is for the best'. The book was immediately banned for its religious blasphemy as well as for its political message, inciting people against the state.

№ 13 in Anne Haight's List of Banned Books.

Part of the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Great Books of the Western World set.

This book has 81 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1759. This Modern Library translation was first published in 1918.

Production notes: This e-book of Candide was published by Global Grey on the 25th April 2018, and updated on the 20th July 2021. The artwork used for the cover is 'Large Winter Landscape with Castle in the Mountains' by Albert Bredow.

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