Illustrated by Quentin Blake

Introduced by Julian Barnes

A fine edition of the celebrated limited edition, featuring an additional binding illustration by Quentin Blake.


In 2011, The Folio Society produced a limited edition of Voltaire’s Candide. Featuring illustrations by Quentin Blake and an introduction by Julian Barnes, it proved to be enormously popular and became one of the fastest-selling titles in Folio history. In response to overwhelming demand, Candide has been reissued in a new format, so that more readers can experience this uniquely pleasing combination of author and illustrator. The cloth binding, designed by Quentin Blake, is blocked with a new illustration by the artist. The introduction by acclaimed author Julian Barnes examines the seismic impact of Candide in Voltaire’s own time, and its relevance to this day.

Production Details

Bound in blocked cloth

Set in Garamond

208 pages

Frontispiece and 17 colour illustrations, and 28 black & white illustrations

Plain slipcase

10˝ x 7½˝

The Greatest of French Enlightenment writers

Voltaire was the greatest of French Enlightenment writers – a historian, poet, playwright, scientist and philosopher. He was passionately involved in the debates of the day, advocating reform of the monarchy, the French justice system and increased freedom for the press. Of his many works, the most popular today is Candide: the most widely taught piece of French literature in the world. This mordant novella has not one but a dozen targets for its satire: organised religion, the overweening pride of aristocrats, merchants’ greed, colonial ambition and the hopeless complacency of Leibnizian philosophy in the face of reality. All are dissected with a few sharp strokes of Voltaire’s pen.

‘Voltaire made, with this novel, a résumé of all his works … His whole intelligence was a war machine’
  1. Gustave Flaubert

One of the world’s greatest living illustrators

Quentin Blake is one of the world’s greatest living illustrators. Just as Voltaire manages to make the report of a wartime atrocity both funny and agonising, so Blake’s pictures capture a world at once comic and horrific. Blake has produced 18 full-page colour illustrations and nearly 30 delightfully wicked pen-and-ink drawings, all reproduced in this edition, as well as an entirely new illustration for the revised binding.

‘Blake is beyond brilliant. He’s anarchic, moral, infinitely subversive, sometimes vicious, socially acute, sparse when he has to be, exuberantly lavish in the detail when he feels like it’
  1. The Daily Telegraph

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