Voltaire's satire written in 1759 has not aged. He completed it in three days, a ridicule to the notion that this is the best possible world. As the introduction to the 1918 edition states: Voltaire's men and women point his case against optimism by starting high and falling low. A modern could not go about it after this fashion. He would not plunge his people into unfamiliar misery. He would just keep them in the misery they were born to...Had Voltaire lived today he would have done to poverty what he did to war. Pitying the poor, he would have shown us poverty as a ridiculous anachronism, and both the ridicule and the pity would have expressed his indignation." The book is often studied in high school, grades 9-10.
Return to the Voltaire library.