If we had to earn our age by thinking for ourselves at least once a year, only a handful of people would reach adulthood.
Voltaire was a versatile and prolific writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, histories, and scientific expositions. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and 2,000 books and pamphlets. Voltaire was one of the first authors to become renowned and commercially successful internationally. He was an outspoken advocate of civil liberties and was at constant risk from the strict censorship laws of the Catholic French monarchy. His polemics witheringly satirized intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day. His best-known work and magnum opus, Candide, is a novella which comments on, criticizes, and ridicules many events, thinkers, and philosophies of his time.