Introduced by Julian Barnes
Illustrated by Quentin Blake
One of Voltaire's most popular plays, Candide, featuring a new binding illustration by Quentin Blake.
In 2011, The Folio Society produced a limited edition of Voltaire’s Candide. Featuring illustrations by Quentin Blake and an introduction by Julian Barnes, it proved to be enormously popular and became one of the fastest-selling titles in Folio history. In response to overwhelming demand, Candide was reissued in a new format, so that more readers can experience this uniquely pleasing combination of author and illustrator. The cloth binding, designed by Quentin Blake, is blocked with a new illustration and the introduction by acclaimed author Julian Barnes, examines the seismic impact of Candide in Voltaire’s own time, and its relevance to this day.
Voltaire was the greatest of French Enlightenment writers – a historian, poet, playwright, scientist and philosopher. He was passionately involved in the debates of the day, advocating reform of the monarchy, the French justice system and increased freedom for the press. Of his many works, the most popular today is Candide: the most widely taught piece of French literature in the world. This mordant novella has not one but a dozen targets for its satire: organised religion, the overweening pride of aristocrats, merchants’ greed, colonial ambition and the hopeless complacency of Leibnizian philosophy in the face of reality. All are dissected with a few sharp strokes of Voltaire’s pen.
‘Voltaire made, with this novel, a résumé of all his works … His whole intelligence was a war machine’
Quentin Blake is one of the world’s greatest living illustrators. Just as Voltaire manages to make the report of a wartime atrocity both funny and agonising, so Blake’s pictures capture a world at once comic and horrific. Blake has produced 18 full-page colour illustrations and nearly 30 delightfully wicked pen-and-ink drawings, all reproduced in this edition, as well as an entirely new illustration for the revised binding.
‘Blake is beyond brilliant. He’s anarchic, moral, infinitely subversive, sometimes vicious, socially acute, sparse when he has to be, exuberantly lavish in the detail when he feels like it’
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Review by firstname.lastname@example.org on 22nd Jan 2018
"Today I received my copy of Candide. Wonderful binding and illustrations. The book feels like a limited edittion though it is not. And such a wonderful reading experience, witty, humorous and provokin..." [read more]