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Author Voltaire wrote the satirical novella Candide and, despite controversy during his lifetime, is widely considered one of France's greatest Enlightenment writers.
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In 1733, the publication of Voltaire's Letters on the English Nation angered the French church and government, forcing the writer to flee to Lorraine. He remained there for the next 15 years with his mistress, Emile de Breteuil, at the Château de Cirey, visiting Paris occasionally as of 1735, when he was granted re-entry. By 1778, the French public had begun to regard Voltaire as a literary genius, and he returned to Paris a hero.
Two months before his death, the ailing Voltaire bid the crowd farewell at a production of his play Irene: "I die adoring God, loving my friends, not hating my enemies, and detesting superstition." Voltaire died in his sleep on May 30, 1778, in Paris, France.
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