Voltaire's Candide

Listen in pop-out player

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Voltaire's novel Candide. First published in 1759, the novel follows the adventures of a young man, Candide, and his mentor, the philosopher Pangloss. Candide was written in the aftermath of a major earthquake in Lisbon and the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, events which caused such human suffering that they shook many people's faith in a benevolent God. Voltaire's masterpiece piles ridicule on Optimism, the fashionable philosophical belief that such disasters are part of God's plan for humanity - that 'all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds'.Often uproariously funny, the novel is a biting satire whose other targets include bad literature, extremist religion and the vanity of kings and politicians. It captivated contemporary readers and has proved one of French literature's most enduring classics.With:David WoottonAnniversary Professor of History at the University of YorkNicholas CronkProfessor of French Literature and Director of the Voltaire Foundation at the University of OxfordCaroline WarmanLecturer in French and Fellow of Jesus College at the University of Oxford.Producer: Thomas Morris.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Thu 3 May 2012 21:30

Featured in...

Watch animations from A History of Ideas

The Libet Experiment

Explore some big questions about how we live today.

In Our Time Downloads

melvyn-bragg.jpg

Every episode of In Our Time - available to download to listen to when & where you want.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss