Candide Questions and Answers
by Voltaire

Candide book cover
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When Was Candide Written?

Candide was written between July and December 1758.

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Voltaire's Candide was written in the second half of 1758, between July and December. It was published the following year in Amsterdam, Geneva, and Paris. It is the best-known of Voltaire's works, and was intended to simultaneously educate readers about his ideas and entertain them through his use of wit and innuendo.

The story is named for the main character, who is the illegitimate nephew of a Baron. He has grown in the Baron's castle being taught by a scholar named Pangloss, and falls in love with the baron's daughter. When the baron catches the two kissing, Candide is chucked out, and ends up in the army, before escaping to Holland. After being taken in by an Anabaptist, he runs into Pangloss, who is now deformed as a result of Syphilis. He learns that the former object of his affections, as well as her whole family, have been murdered by the Bulgar army.

Candide and Pangloss later travel to Lisbon, where Pangloss is hanged for being a heretic, and Candide is flogged for agreeing with Pangloss's ideas. In a turn of events, the woman treating Candide's wounds reunites him with Cunégonde, who survived the murder of her family to be sold into sex slavery. Candide kills both of her owners and the two, together with the woman who reunited them, leave for South America.