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Page last updated at 07:31 GMT, Friday, 20 January 2012

Voltaire's lost letters discovered


Academics say new light has been shed on the life of the French writer, Voltaire, by letters bought by the New York public library.

The documents, which were written by the philosopher in the eighteenth century, give more details of the time he spent in England.

Professor Nicholas Cronk, the director of Oxford University's Voltaire Foundation, told the Today programme that the letters confirm that Voltaire was paid £200 by the British government for being a great poet.

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