Candide, or The Optimist
Candide, or the Optimist is Voltaire’s hilarious and deeply scathing satire on the Age of Enlightenment.
Part of the Macmillan Collector’s Library, a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket-sized classics with gold-foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition features an introduction by Dr Marine Ganofsky.
Young nobleman Candide lives a sheltered and comfortable life under the tutorship of the ridiculous Dr Pangloss who espouses the prevailing 18th-century philosophy of Optimism. Following an indiscretion, Candide is cast out into the world which according to Pangloss is ‘the best of all possible worlds’. But this is not so, Candide and his companions encounter nothing but ludicrous calamities in their madcap travels around the world – war crimes, earthquakes, inquisitions and chain gangs – all based with horrible closeness on real events of the 18th century.
Voltaire’s searing critique of church, state and human nature was a bestseller from the moment it was published.
Candide remains politically topical and its McCarthy-era satire has, unfortunately, lost little relevance
John Allison, Telegraph
It was no fable inhabiting some make-believe or symbolic location; rather, it was a report on the current state of the world, deliberately set among the headlines of the day
Julian Barnes, Guardian