When the King Took Flight

When the King Took Flight

by Timothy Tackett
     
 

On a June night in 1791, King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette fled Paris in disguise, hoping to escape the mounting turmoil of the French Revolution. They were arrested by a small group of citizens a few miles from the frontier and forced to return to Paris. Two years later, they would both die at the guillotine. Through this extraordinary story, and the events leading… See more details below

Overview

On a June night in 1791, King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette fled Paris in disguise, hoping to escape the mounting turmoil of the French Revolution. They were arrested by a small group of citizens a few miles from the frontier and forced to return to Paris. Two years later, they would both die at the guillotine. Through this extraordinary story, and the events leading up to and away from it, Timothy Tackett recounts in gripping novelistic style the dynamics and trajectory of the French Revolution. The king's flight opens a window to the whole of French society. Each chapter spotlights the drama as it was experienced by a different segment of the population: from the great orators of the National Assembly to the Revolutionary officials and national guardsmen of small-town France; from Louis and Marie-Antoinette -- and Marie's Swedish lover -- to the ordinary men and women of Paris passionately committed to transforming their world. Tackett shows how Louis's flight reshaped popular attitudes toward kingship, intensified fears of invasion and conspiracy, and helped pave the way for the Reign of Terror. Tackett brings to life an array of characters, celebrated and humble, commoner and king, as they grappled with the monumental transformations set in motion in 1789. In so doing, he offers an important new interpretation of the Revolution. By emphasizing the unpredictable and contingent character of this story, he underscores the power of a single event to change irrevocably the course of the French Revolution, and consequently, the history of the Western world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674010543
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
03/14/2003
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.84(w) x 8.42(h) x 1.13(d)

Table of Contents

Maps and Illustrationsix
Acknowledgmentsxiii
Prologue1
1Sire, You May Not Pass3
2The King of the French26
3The King Takes Flight57
4Our Good City of Paris88
5The Fathers of the Nation119
6Fear and Repression in the Provinces151
7To Judge a King179
8The Months and Years After203
Conclusion: The Power of an Event219
Abbreviations227
Notes229
Bibliography247
Index259

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