The Two French Revolutions

In one respect at least the very different books by Simon Schama and George Rudé have something in common: each is based on the reinterpretation of old evidence rather than on new discoveries. They incorporate a kind of tribute to their authors’ student days. In Rudé’s case this implies very …

Four French Revolutions

In 1989 historians throughout the world will be celebrating the bicentenary of the French Revolution. The Revolution itself was an immensely divisive experience, splitting Frenchmen into royalists and republicans, Catholics and anticlericals, in ways that have survived until the present day. It was the legacy of these revolutionary conflicts, more …

Grub Street Revolutionaries

A good many years ago Robert Darnton, as he puts it, “walked into a historian’s dream: an enormous cache of untouched archives, the papers of the Société typographique de Neuchâtel.” What he discovered there forms the basis of this collection of articles, most of them on the French writers whose …