Francois-Marie Arouet, known better as Voltaire, was hailed as a genius of the Enlightenment, a man dissatisfied with the religious and superstitious attitudes of his time, and a champion of sharp irony and logical reasoning. His most famous book follows Candide and his tutor, Pangloss, as they travel the Earth following the philosophy that "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds." This adage, however, is disproved at many turns as the characters encounter many obstacles. The initially naïve Candide realizes some of the horrors the 18th-century world contains, but is there any light at the end of the tunnel for the travelers?
Two standards of European literature join Penguin's Classics Deluxe Editions club. Candide sports an especially spiffy cover by comic artist Chris Ware and a top text. The Undset volume combines all three parts of the epic with explanatory notes. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.