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François-Marie Arouet (1694–1778), known by his pen name Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state.
Voltaire was a versatile writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was an outspoken advocate of several liberties, despite the risk this placed him in under the strict censorship laws of the time. As a satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day.
Portrait facing outwards to right, lettering and years surrounding.
· RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE ·
Quill divides the Panthéon (burial place of Voltaire) and date from the denomination, below signature of Voltaire. The national motto of France (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity) above.
LIBERTÉ • ÉGALITÉ • FRATERNITÉ