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Voltaire at Sanssouci

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One of Frederick’s most celebrated house guests was Voltaire, who lived here from 1750 to 1753, acting as a kind of private tutor to the king. He finally left when he’d had enough of Frederick’s moody and dictatorial behaviour, damning the king’s intellect with faint praise and accusing him of treating “the whole world as slaves”. In revenge Frederick had Voltaire’s former room decorated with carvings of apes and parrots.

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