Residence of Voltaire France

Catherine the Great of Russia by Alexi Petrovich Antropovore Catherine the Great of Russia

Catherine the Great of Russia read Voltaire's writing for seventeen years before she began a correspondence with him. In her first letter to Voltaire written in 1763, she stated:

"... by chance your works fell into my hands; and since then I have never stopped reading them, have not wished to have anything to do with books which were not written as well and from which the same profit could not be derived. "

When Voltaire died in 1778 his niece, Mme Denis, inherited his estate. Catherine offered to purchase Voltaire's library and manuscripts and Mme Denis agreed to sell them. Catherine paid 135,398 livres for the library of 6,210 books. The library was sent to St. Petersburg.
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