VoltaireVoltaire, [François Marie Arouet] (1694-1778) French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher

False Voltaire Quote

“I may not agree with what you say, but to the death I will defend your right to say it.”

~ Voltaire

Paraphrased by Evelyn Beatrice Halll, writing under the pseudonym of Stephen G. Tallentyre in The Friends of Voltaire (1906)

Ratings and Comments

David L Rosenthal

Notice that he said "...to your death..." and not "...to MY death..." More sarcasm from Voltaire?

Margret, Hamburg

I'm fairly sure there must be a printing error in this quotation. I've known it for a long time and the way I knew it it always said: "to my death" - the other way round makes no sense at all I think, even as sarcasm it doesn't really work in my opinion.

Margret, Hamburg

In fact, I just looked it up in Wikiquote, an offshoot of Wikipedia. Wikiquote says this quote is wrongly attributed to Voltaire. Originally it was Evelyn Beatrice Hall who wrote it in her book on Voltaire's friends (1906) written under the pen name of Stephen G. Tallentyre. And of course she said: to my death. According to Wikiquote Voltaire said something very similar to the same effect. See: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Evelyn_Beatrice_Hall

Joe, Rochester, MI

Change the focus from free speech to arms ... "I may not agree with carrying a handgun, but to my death I will defend your right to carry it." It's almost comical that liberals and socialists agree with the statement in the context of First Amendment rights, but are adamantly opposed to it as self-defense Second Amendment rights.

Editor, Liberty Quotes

Thanks to all for the corrections. They have been applied.

Ken, Allyn, WA

Joe, change the focus from the free speech clause of the first amendment to the free expression of religion clause and you will also see the liberals' and socialists' hypocricy. Comical indeed.

E Archer, NYC

It's a classic no matter who said it.

  • Reply
    Anonymous    4/7/09

    I love this quote.


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