Friday, January 20, 2012

Where in the World is Voltaire?

Voltaire at 24, by Catherine Lusurier after Nicolas de Largillière's painting
Voltaire, author of countless satires (especially concerning the religious sector) was not well liked among people of faith.  When he died in 1778, he was denied burial in church ground until 1791, when the abbey in Champagne relented and moved his remains to the Pantheon in Paris.  But the late author did not rest in peace there either.  In 1814 a group of right-wing religious extremists broke into the Pantheon, exhumed his remains and dumped them in a garbage heap somewhere.  The heist was not discovered until fifty years later, when authorities found his sarcophagus empty.

“I went over to Charles Lawrence’s this forenoon for some stone boas plank.  John Pratt, wife, Mrs Dr. Show and Miss Fanny Pratt spent the afternoon here with us.”

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