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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
16th January 1906 Born today: Diana Winyard, London, actress (Cavalcade)
16th January 1794 Edward Gibbon, historian (Decline and Fall), dies in London at 56
16th January 1759 British Museum opens in London
Voltaire lived and wrote here
One of France's greatest writers and poets Voltaire lived here.
Location: 10 Maiden Lane, Westminster, London
Description: Francois Marie Arouet, better known as his pen name Voltaire, was born on November 21, 1694 in Paris. His bright wit and style made him one of France's greatest writers and philosophers. After living in exile in London after upsetting Parisian courtesans, he went on to dominate the world of literature and theatre, conquering the London stage both as a playwright and a critic during his stay in England.
Voltaire also lodged nearby at Maiden Laneís The White Peruke or White Wig, in exile from Paris in 1727-1728. The French barbershop, among a string of hairdressers situated at no. 21, that will have evoked his Parisian heritage.
Voltaireís English experience shaped his contribution to the Enlightenment, and his 1734 Lettres Philosophiques recount his impressions of humane English society in contrast to absolutist France. A progressive Gentlemenís club met nearby in the early 18th century, frequented by Voltaire, Hogarth, Fielding and Goldsmith.
A green plaque was unveiled here in Voltaires honour in 1994.
Tagged in this Tour: Elizabethan & Stuart London
Tagged in this Tour: 5/09