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The two representative Frenchmen of the eighteenth century are Voltaire and Mirabeau. Voltaire was the last great influence of the old order, and Mirabeau the first of the new. Voltaire, more than any other one man, undammed the torrent of Revolution. Mirabeau used all the strength of his mighty genius to turn those rushing waters into the channel of use, of wisdom, and of safety. These two notable men have inspired the present biographer, who has the distinction of having written what may be regarded as the definitive life of each. The Life of Voltaire is, like The Life of Mirabeau, a penetrating study of character combined with a dramatic conception of Voltaire's role in history. S. G. Tallentyre is also the author of The Life of Mirabeau and The Friends of Voltaire.