E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
His proper name was François Marie Arouet. The word Voltaire is simply an anagram of Arouet L. I. (le jeune). Thus have we Stella, Astrophel (q.v.), Vanessa and Cadenus (q.v.), and a host of other names in anagrams.
Voltaire, the infidel, built the church at Ferney, which has this inscription: Dco crexit Voltaire. Cowper alludes to this anomaly in the following lines:
Nor he who, for the bane of thousands born,
Built God a church, and laughed His Word to scorn.
Voltaire. Dr. Young said of him
Thou art so witty, profligate and thin,
Thou seemst a Milton, with his Death and Sin.
An excellent comparison between Voltaire and Gibbon is given by Byron in Childe Harold, canto iii. 106, 107.
The German Voltaire. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (17491838).
Christoph Martin Wieland (17331813).
The Polish Voltaire. Ignatius Krasicki (17741801).