Residence of Voltaire France


Frederick II of Prussia by Anna-Dorothea Liszewska-Therbush, Chateau Ferney Frederick the Great of Prussia

Born: January 24,1712 in Berlin, Germany
died: August 17, 1786 in Potsdam, Germany

While Voltaire was at the Chateau Cirey, he received his first letter from Frederick, who was the heir to the throne of Prussia. Frederick had a great admiration for Voltaire and they carried on a correspondence where they discussed philosophy and the topics of the day.

When Frederick came to power, he invited Voltaire to visit him and did not include Emilie in the invitation. Emilie saw this as a threat to her relationship with Voltaire. Frederick's goal was to have Voltaire become a permanent member of his court. However, Voltaire promised Emilie that he would never leave her.

After Emilie's death in 1749, Voltaire accepted Frederick's invitation to come to Prussia and have a position at his court. Voltaire remained at Frederick's court for three years (from 1750-1753), and then left due to disagreements with Frederick.

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