"Candide, seconde partie" is an amusing, instructive and sometimes naughty imitation of Voltaire's masterpiece. A continuation of Candide's pilgrimage through a strange and cruel world, the story is a satire in the manner of Voltaire, and picks up many of the original tale's characters as well as its pet themes. To some extent, the book tells us a great deal about the spirit in which contemporary readers understood Voltaire's wit and satire. At the same time, it allows today's reader to take another look at Candide itself. It appeared bound with Voltaire's original in 1760. It went through many French editions in the 1760s and 1770s and was translated into English as soon as it appeared. Many thoughtful and cultured readers opined at the time that the work was by Voltaire himself. It has not been published in French since 1877 although it is widely available in an English-language translation. This text should interest specialists and could serve as a primary text in graduate level courses on 18th-century French literature and, more specifically, Voltaire himself, as well as courses dealing with the problem of authorship and imitation.
Edouard M. Langille is Professor of French Language and Literature at the St Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia, Canada.