Oxford History of the French Revolution / Edition 2 available in Paperback
The Oxford History of the French Revolution has established itself as the most authoritative and comprehensive one-volume history of its kind. Opening with the accession of Louis XVI in 1774, it traces the history of France through revolution, terror, and counter-terror, to the triumph of Napoleon in 1802, and analyses the impact of events in France upon the rest of Europe. William Doyle shows how a movement which began with optimism and general enthusiasm soon became a tragedy, not only for the ruling orders, but for the millions of ordinary people all over Europe whose lives were disrupted by religious upheaval, and civil and international war. Fully updated, this new edition features an expanded bibliographical survey of the literature dealing with the Revolution, including the most important material to have been written on the subject since the publication of the first edition.
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
About the Author
William Doyle is Professor of History at the University of Bristol and the author of Origins of the French Revolution, Old Regime France 1648-1788, and The French Revolution: A Very Short Introduction.
Table of Contents
|List of Maps||xi|
|1.||France under Louis XVI||1|
|3.||Crisis and Collapse, 1776-1788||66|
|4.||The Estates-General, September 1788-July 1789||86|
|5.||The Principles of 1789 and the Reform of France||112|
|6.||The Breakdown of the Revolutionary Consensus, 1790-1791||136|
|7.||Europe and the Revolution, 1788-1791||159|
|8.||The Republican Revolution, October 1791-January 1793||174|
|9.||War against Europe, 1792-1797||197|
|10.||The Revolt of the Provinces||220|
|11.||Government by Terror, 1793-1794||247|
|14.||The Directory, 1795-1799||318|
|15.||Occupied Europe, 1794-1799||341|
|16.||An End to Revolution, 1799-1802||369|
|17.||The Revolution in Perspective||391|
|1.||Chronology of the French Revolution||436|
|2.||The Revolutionary Calendar||444|
|3.||The Revolution and its Historians||446|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Oxford History of the French Revolution based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
The French Revolution, an event that has transcended time, and remained one of the most dramatic events in European history. And in less than 450 pages, Professor William Doyle provides a saturated, panoramic history of the revolution in France. Rather than focusing on the tumultuous history of Paris in the 1790s, Doyle provides, in exquisite detail, the events in the hinterland of France, from the revolts of the Vendee region to the frontline of the French Revolutionary Wars. And the author even goes a step further, donating two full chapters to the ramifications of the revolution felt across Europe. Though the chapters sometimes become hard to piece together, often providing facts that are not relevant until later in the book, the writing is magnificent, and Doyle does not miss one step of the revolution. Doyle launches the reader into the years leading up to the revolution, discussing, in grand detail, the major, and sometimes minor, factors that culminated to the national revolts that were the early signs of a revolution. Under the reign of the flaunting gallantry of Louis XVI and the deceptive Marie Antoinette, unbearable winter frosts and poor harvests starved the people, leading to protests for bread, and a regulation on wildly inflating prices. As momentum gathered, and more and more became more skeptical of the monarch, a call for the Estates-General mounted, and the French Revolution was on. In the many books that I have read about the French Revolution, Doyle's book surpasses them all, providing lucid details and connecting every point with tedious research and support. And as the Reign of Terror, the famed bloody period of the revolution, progresses, Doyle remains unbiased, presenting both sides with excruciating detail. Agreeing with most modern historians, Doye characterizes the revolution as a tragedy. The ideals of the revolution, the philosophies written on the sacred parchment of The Rights of Man and the Citizen, are devoured by the rise of the popular military general, Napoleon Bonaparte. And Doyle, unlike most historians who focus on the general's emperical career, focuses on the rise of the general, and why one man could rise above the blood of thousands, given in the name of liberty. With a lucid description of the French Revolution, a grand illustration of the French Revolutionary Wars that engulfed Europe, and a conclusion that leaves the reader with even more facts to grapple with, Doyle presents the revolution in grand fashion, remaining unbiased, and leaving the reader with a thorough knowledge of the revolution. If one is searching for a book that will provide the dramatic, and often overhyped, details of the Bastille and other theatrical events, then this book is not for you. Doyle stresses that the revolution was not isolated in Paris, or in France for that matter. Many, whom are consumed by the gorey history of Paris, neglect the fact that this was a revolution of France, not one city. A compact masterpiece of the revolution, which would enlighten the minds of even the most dignified of historians, and a great historical read.
Doyle tells us in his introduction that he was surprised to find that this book has become a standard text on the revolution as it was intended to be a popular work to coincide with the bicentenary of 1989.This may be false modesty on his part but this book certainly did not strike me as courting the popular history market with its scholarly prose and lack of illustrations. Far more striking is the astounding amount of research and insight contained on every page of the book. When you consider Doyle is writing about one of the most contentious, important and complex events in human history his achievement is even more astonishing.This is rightfully regarded as the best overview of the revolution in English and Doyle's conclusion that the revolution can only be seen as a tragedy is as enlightening as it is sobering.
I would agree with the other reviewer: : to understand the French Revolution, start here.