Fully engaging our fascination with the macabre, Glory and Terror illustrates how certain corpses became highly charged political symbols during the course of the French Revolution. Arguing that the key moments of the Revolution were "dialogues with the dead," this fascinating study effectively evokes the passions inflamed by seven famous corpses. The author takes a look at the very public death of the great orator and libertine, Mirabeau; vividly describes the pageantry of the procession carrying Voltaire's body to the Pantheon; and investigates the sexually-charged myths surrounding the murder of Marie Antoinette's intimate friend, the Princess de Lamballe. He brilliantly recreates the tense and awe-inspiring spectacle of Louis XVI's execution, and examines the agonizing final hours of the defeated and disfigured Robespierre
In Glory and Terror, Antoine de Baecque, a brilliant young scholar and writer with a growing international reputation, focuses his considerable talents on dissecting the passions propelling the Revolution, which are captured by his virtuoistic and visceral descriptions. With each episode, he demonstrates how the body became a powerful icon that helped to push the Revolution into each successive phase. Anyone who enjoys dazzling cultural history in the vein of Robert Darnton, Carlo Ginzburg and Anthony Grafton will revel in Glory and Terror.
One of the leading historians of the French Revolution chronicles the history of the body as a vehicle of Revolutionary passions. A strikingly vivid work. (Patrice Higgonet, Goelet Professor of French History, Harvard University)
De Baecque brings a cinematic sensibility to his engrossing and startling study of seven exemplary deaths during the French Revolution. The morbid and macabre come alive in these exquisitely honed studies which reveal over and over the freshness and originality of this wide-ranging, multi-talented, and keenly observant writer. I can imagine no better way to get inside the experience of revolutionary upheaval. (Lynn Hunt, Eugen Weber Professor of Modern European History, UCLA)