Voltaire learned of the fabled land of Eldorado by reading Sir Walter Raleigh

Voltaire learned of the fabled land of Eldorado by reading Sir Walter Raleigh

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Voltaire learned of the fabled land of Eldorado by reading Sir Walter Raleigh's account in  The  Discoverie of the Large and Rich and Beautiful Empire of Guiana,  first published in 1595. If he did not  read the account in English, he could have found it available in the  Voyage de Francois Correal aux  Indes Occidentales,  Volume II (Paris, 1722). Raleigh described a fabulous country, one possessing  towering mountains and immense treasures, so that the name came to be used metaphorically of  any place where wealth could be acquired rapidly. In his Eldorado, also, the ruling princes were  descended from the once-powerful Incas, famed for their magnificent civilization. Various travel  books may well have influenced Voltaire as well. And no one who wrote of a utopia could avoid  owing a debt to Sir Thomas More, the author of the first modern one. In More's work he could have  found a completely happy people who, without Divine Revelation, recognized one God to whom they  sang hymns of adoration but did not presume to petition when they had more than they needed to  satisfy their wants — a people who considered gold and precious gems to be mere baubles for  children to play with. The benign philosopher-ruler also flourished in More's utopia, wherein the well- planned cities and impressive public buildings and works bore testimony to an enlightened 
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This note was uploaded on 12/03/2011 for the course ENGLISH 1001 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '11 term at Texas State.

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Voltaire learned of the fabled land of Eldorado by reading Sir Walter Raleigh

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