After being caught kissing the Baron's daughter Cunegonde, gullible ingenue Candide is evicted from the castle where he lives to find himself wandering a world which is awash with disease, injustice, rape, pillage and slaughter; in other words he encounters all the worst aspects of the 18th century (the time when Voltaire wrote). But can he reconcile what he sees and experiences with the optimistic philosophy of his mentor Pangloss, that they live in 'the best of all possible worlds' and that 'everything is for the best'.Divided into 30 chapters, "Candide" cheekily runs through the cliches of romantic and adventure fiction, as well as being a savage satire on religion, governments, the military, 'the German personality' and practically anything else you could mention. Among the events which inspired Voltaire to write this mordant masterpiece were the Seven Years War and the Great Earthquake of Lisbon (1755) and he was also a great admirer of Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" (1726). The story Voltaire produced in homage to Swift features a galloping plot where calamity relentlessly follows catastrophe, collapse and cataclysm to bleakly comic effect.
The story is as entertaining today as when the pages first rolled off the press back in 1759. Voltaire's "Candide" has remained in print since that time and this is a handsome version which those who love books will want to see on their shelves. This is a beautiful edition to buy to keep or to give as a gift.