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Book Review - Candide by Voltaire

            Historical fiction is a genre, which fascinates many readers. Voltaire is a very well known writer and philosopher from 18th Century France. In the year of 1759, Voltaire wrote one of his most famous satires, Candide. The genre of historical fiction varies greatly in accuracy from story to story, but Voltaire chose to make this famous satire very historically accurate, in order for the people of his time period to be able to relate to it. Personally, I enjoyed this book very much and can see why it is so famous.
             I was continually interested as the story follows Candide through many fast moving events as he travels throughout Europe. In the beginning, young Candide was living with his uncle who was a famous Baron in Whestphalia, Germany. While Candide was living here, his mentor, Pangloss, teaches him strong virtues of optimism. Candide falls in love with Cunegonde, his uncle's daughter, and is sent away when the Baron catches them kissing. Once Candide is alone in the world, he is shocked by many harsh realities of imprisonment, rape, torture, and murder; but somehow remains optimistic and in the end marries Cunegonde, and lives happily ever after.
             Voltaire wrote Candide, during a time of much poverty and turmoil in France. Voltaire was very significant to the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th Century, and so he wrote Candide with very much accuracy to the time period, in order to reflect his support for certain Enlightenment ideas. An example of this was Voltaire's presentation of the Enlightenment idea of Optimism, " 'Optimism,' said Cacambo, 'What is that?' 'Alas!' replied Candide, 'It is the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst.'" In this way, Voltaire supports historically significant ideas in his book. Another way Voltaire benefits from historically accuracy is that the people who read Voltaire's work could further relate to the events.

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