The primary satirist of the Enlightenment, François-Marie Arouet, better known by his pen name Voltaire (1694–1778), entered the literary world as a playwright. He quickly became renowned for his wit and satire, as well as the libel claims that often resulted. In and out of prison and other various predicaments for most of his young life, Voltaire spent a period of exile in England during which he was introduced to the works of Locke and Newton. The two thinkers had a profound impact on the young Voltaire, who became wildly prolific in the years that followed, authoring more than sixty plays and novels and countless other letters and poems. Voltaire was an avowed deist, believing in God but hating organized religion. As a result, he made Christianity—which he called “glorified superstition”—a frequent target of his wit. Voltaire was also an ardent supporter of monarchy and spent a considerable
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