The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny

The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny

by Ian Davidson


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A vital and illuminating look at this profoundly important (and often perplexing) historical moment, by former Financial Times chief foreign affairs columnist Ian Davidson.

The French Revolution casts a long shadow, one that reaches into our own time and influences our debates on freedom, equality, and authority. Yet it remains an elusive, perplexing historical event. Its significance morphs according to the sympathies of the viewer, who may see it as a series of gory tableaux, a regrettable slide into uncontrolled anarchy—or a radical reshaping of the political landscape.

In this riveting new book, Ian Davidson provides a fresh look at this vital moment in European history. He reveals how it was an immensely complicated and multifaceted revolution, taking place in different places, at different times, and in different spheres; and how subsequently it became weighted with political, social, and moral values. Stirring and dramatic—and filled with the larger-than-life players of the period and evoking the turbulence of this colorful time—this is narrative history at its finest.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681772509
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 12/06/2016
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 834,278
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

After graduating in Classics from Cambridge, Ian Davidson worked for the Financial Times for many years as their Paris correspondent and chief foreign affairs columnist. He is also the author of Voltaire (Pegasus) and Voltaire in Exile (Grove). Ian lives in England.

Table of Contents

Maps ix

Timeline xvii

1 Introduction 1

2 États Généraux 9

3 The Fall of Necker 22

4 The Storming of the Bastille 25

5 The Dismantling of Feudalism 30

6 Declaration of the Rights of Man 34

7 The King Moves to Paris 40

8 The Assembly Starts to Govern France 50

9 The Revolutionaries Reform the Church 59

10 The Flight of the King 66

11 The Rush to War 77

12 The Overthrow of the Monarchy 87

13 The Commune insurrectionnelle 103

14 The Convention 119

15 The War in 1792: From Valmy to Jemappes 130

16 The Trial of the King 137

17 Girondins and Montagnards 144

18 The Fall of the Girondins 154

19 The Civil Wars of 1793 164

20 The Gouvernement révolutionnaire 175

21 The Terreur 190

22 The Spasm of Religion to the Fall of Danton 205

23 The Fall of Robespierre 218

24 The Aftermath 232

25 Epilogue 244

In Place of a Bibliography 253

A Note on the Children of Louis XVI 257

A Note on the Franchise for Women 258

The Coups d'État of the French Revolution 259

The French Text of the Declaration of the Rights of Man of 1789 261

A Note on Money and Inflation 263

A Note on the Comité de salut public 266

A Note on Death and the Revolution 269

Notes 278

List of Illustrations 298

Index 300

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