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Invitation to World Literature


Recommended Translations & Editions

EditionsAbout these Editions

Voltaire, Candide: Or Optimism, trans. John Butt (1947).


This is our recommended edition. This 1947 translation by John Everett Butt provides a clear and stylish English equivalent for the mordant original. This edition has an introduction by the translator, a noted scholar and literary editor, who was Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at Edinburgh University.

Voltaire, Candide ou l'Optimisme, ed. Myrna Bell Rochester and Eileen M. Angelini (2006).


An excellent modern edition of the French text, with good notes.

Voltaire, Candide, trans. Robert M. Adams (1991).


A Norton Critical Edition featuring a very readable modern version that keeps some period flavor, followed by informative essays.

Voltaire, Candide: or Optimism, trans. Theo Cuffe (2009).


A new Penguin edition with a very readable translation and an excellent introduction by Princeton's Michael Wood.

Voltaire, Candide, Zadig and Selected Stories, trans. Donald Frame, et al. (2009)


An excellent translation, with a good selection of other prose works by Voltaire.