This design originally housed Voltaire's Zadig, or The Book of Fate. First published in 1747, it tells the story of Zadig, an ancient Babylonian philosopher. In the work one finds the seeds of the modern detective story.There are few authors more influential and admired than Voltaire (1684-1778). His work especially appealed to late 19th-century France, which was recovering from an 1870 defeat by Prussia. The French people responded by focusing on objects of profound beauty and intellectual depth in order to showcase their dreams for the future. It is no small wonder that Zadig was chosen to be reprinted in this marvellous golden binding, crafted in 1893 by Chamerot et Renouard in Paris.