By Marvin Carlson
Born in the final years of the seventeenth century, and dying a decade before the beginning of the French Revolution, Voltaire was a quintessential figure of the eighteenth century. He was the most popular and influential dramatist of his time, creating successful works in all the most appealing genres of the period--comedy, tragedy, opera, comic opera, and court spectacle. This book chronicles his life and dramatic achievements and thus illuminates much of eighteenth century culture. His theatrical biography involves all aspects of acting and staging in amateur and society theatre as well as on major professional stages and performances at court. His extended visits to England and Germany are covered in chapters that also provide an introduction to the theatre of the period in those countries, and his international interests and correspondence provide insights into the eighteenth century theatre in places such as Italy, Russia, and Denmark.