book cover l'ingénu by voltaire


In 1689 a handsome Huron (Indian from Canada) disembarked from an English boat on the coast of Brittany. Speaking English and French, he became friends with the Abbé de Kerkabon and his sister. He presents them with a medallion on which they recognize their brother captain, of whom they have no news: the Ingenu is their nephew! At a dinner, the sincere Huron fell in love with the sister of the Abbé de Saint-Yves! During the discussion at the table, it turns out that the Ingenu, having read only the Bible, and not instructed in the customs of French society, does not have the vices of this one. Not being proud, he easily recognizes his mistakes, but he often confronts the guests with their contradictions! Throughout L’Ingénu, Voltaire advocates deism, and lambastes intolerance, superstitions, sects, and the Catholic clergy.

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