At last I've finished my Christmas reading project. It's taken me about a month at a couple of chapters a day but it was worth the effort.
Voltaire is one of those names bandied about as being important in the Enlightenment sense. But till now I couldn't put my hand on my heart and say I really knew about him.
Rash, loving legal battles, poor digestion, both spendthrift and thrifty with money, he affected people wherever he went across Europe. Friend, and foe of kings and emperors he drove his publishers mad.
I'm glad I took the trouble to persist with the book and when in future people talk about Voltaire, my picture of him will be much clearer.
Thanks to Roger Pearson's excellent book,Voltaire Almighty(Bloomsbury 2005) this much quoted figure is now a real human to me.