Residence of Voltaire France

This page shows people who were in the life of Voltaire.

Joseph Paris-Duverney, engraving by Aveline after van Loo Paris de Monmartel by Maurice Quentin de la Tour Joseph Paris-Duverney and Paris de Monmartel

Voltaire cultivated bankers, particularly the Paris brothers who had developed their banking firm into a political power. The Paris brothers supplied most of the provisions for Louis XIV's armies in the early 1700's and this was the source for much of their wealth. The brothers Paris showed Voltaire how to invest in bonds and speculate in currency and other commoditites.

Voltaire's secretary, Longchamps, tells us that that in 1733 Paris-Duverney invited Voltaire to take a share in a contract to supply the army. In in the course of two or three mild campaigns, Voltaire's share of the proceeds of the contract amounted to six hundred thousand francs.

Voltaire was a wealthy man due to his his speculation and invenstments. At the time he was living at the Chateau Cirey he was managing a yearly income of about 60,000 livres, at a time when 1,500 livres would have supported a family. Voltaire's sources of income and how he handled his money is significant to understanding his accomplishments as a leader for political and social reforms. There is more information on Voltaire's wealth in the menu topic "Voltaire" on this website.

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