Candide

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Candide, ou l'Optimisme  (1759) 
by Voltaire, translated by Tobias Smollett
Candide, ou l'Optimisme (1759) is a picaresque novel by the Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. Voltaire never openly admitted to having written the controversial Candide; the work is signed with a pseudonym: "Monsieur le docteur Ralph", literally "Mister Doctor Ralph."

Sardonic in outlook, it follows the naïve protagonist Candide from his first exposure to the precept that "all is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds," and on through a series of adventures that dramatically disprove that precept even as the protagonist clings to it.

The novel satirizes naïve interpretations of the philosophy of Gottfried Leibniz and is a showcase of the horrors of the 18th century world. In Candide, Leibniz is represented by the philosopher Pangloss, the tutor of the title character. Despite a series of misfortunes and misadventures, Pangloss continually asserts that "Tout est pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes possibles" ("All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.").

— Excerpted from Candide on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

This edition was translated in the late 18th century.

Table of contents[edit]

This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.