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Unformatted text preview: Voltaire, the longtime valetudinarian who now was eighty-four years of age, died on May 30, 1778. Typically, the man who had erected a Catholic Church on one of his estates (having the inscription "Deo erexit Voltaire" placed upon it), and who in his last years played chess regularly with a Jesuit, refused Extreme Unction and absolution. There was thus difficulty relating to his burial, and his body was hastily interred at the abbey of Scellires in Champagne barely before the interdict of the bishop. But thirteen years later the body was brought back to Paris for repose in the Pantheon, the famous church that is the French equivalent of Westminster Abbey. It is clear that Voltaire was a brilliant, complex individual. He manifested great charm that won him many friends among influential members of both sexes; he also possessed almost a genius for...
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- Fall '11