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He lived there from May 1726 to March 1729, meeting with King George I, Bolingbroke, Jonathan Swift, and other influential members of English society.He learned English and read several works that strongly impacted his thought, including Alexander Pope's Essay on Man, John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, and John Locke's Essay on Human Understanding.
After completing school, Francois-Marie planned to pursue a career as a poet, but his father intervened, sending him to Holland to work for the French ambassador.
Holland was the home of exiled Huguenots, victims of religious intolerance; Francois-Marie fell in love with a young Huguenot girl known as “Pimpette” and was swiftly called home.
His godfather, the abbé Châteauneuf, also oversaw parts of his education.
The abbé introduced him to abbé Chaulieu, who in turn introduced him to Deism and the art of writing poetry.
Voltaire wrote in many genres, excelling at several, but in the modern era he is best remembered for his connections with the theater, his philosophical works, and his contes—short adventure stories dramatizing philosophical issues.
The most famous of these is Candide (1759), a satire of G. Leibniz's philosophy of optimism, which examined the reality and absurdity of human suffering.Biographical Information Voltaire was born Francois-Marie Arouet on November 21, 1694, in or around Paris.His parents were Marguerite Daumard and Francois Arouet, a notary in Paris.He entered law school to please his father and began his literary career in earnest, using the connections developed in school and at the Société du Temple, and his gift for witty conversation, to move in the highest social circles, but fell nearly as quickly as he rose.After writing a poem lampooning the regent Phillipe d'Orleans, he was exiled from Paris, though he later pleaded successfully for his return. Each volume has autograph of Oliver Ellsworth, third chief justice of the United States. Translation of Essay sur l'histoire générale et sur les moeurs et l'esprit des nations, depuis Charlemagne jusqu'à nos jours.He also started Histoire de Charles XII, Roi de Suede (History of Charles XII, King of Sweden, 1731) during this time, the first of his major histories.He returned to France secretly, remaining in hiding until he could obtain permission to stay in Paris.He also discovered Shakespeare, whose “barbaric” but powerful poetry and insights into character inspired and perplexed Voltaire throughout his time in the theater.During this period Voltaire also tried writing in English, publishing the Essay on Civil Wars (1727) and the Essay on Epic Poetry (1727) and releasing a revision of his poem on Henry IV as The Henriade, a tremendous popular success which he dedicated to the English queen.