C. B. A. Behrens (1904–1989) was a British historian of Europe. She was the author of The Ancien Régimeand Society, Government and The Enlightenment.


The End of Servility

The End of the Old Order in Rural Europe

by Jerome Blum
Among scholars on the continent of Europe the transition from “feudalism” (a term commonly used in this connection even by writers who are not Marxists) to “bourgeois society” has long been a major preoccupation. Put more precisely—for the word feudalism has been used to describe many different forms of social …

How Did the Germans Do It?

The Age of German Liberation, 1795-1815

by Friedrich Meinecke, edited with an introduction by Peter Paret, translated by Peter Paret and Helmuth Fischer

Bread, Politics and Political Economy in the Reign of Louis XV

by Steven L. Kaplan
Under the title of The Age of German Liberation Peter Paret has provided us with an excellent translation of a book by one of the most important modern German historians: Friedrich Meinecke’s Zeitalter der Deutschen Erhebung. This title, however, in both its English and its German versions, is something of …

Porn, Propaganda, and the Enlightenment

The Widening Circle: Essays on the Circulation of Literature in Eighteenth-Century Europe

by Robert Darnton and Bernhard Fabian and Roy McKeen Wiles, edited by Paul J. Korshin

Priest and Parish in Eighteenth-Century France: A Social and Political Study of the Curés in the Diocese of Dauphiné, 1750-1791

by Timothy Tackett
In The Widening Circle, a collection of three essays on the reading public in England, France, and Germany respectively in the eighteenth century, Bernhard Fabian, the author of the essay on Germany, quotes a classification of “habitual readers” that was made in 1799 by the German romantic novelist known as …

The Ideal Grand Bourgeois

Les Idées de Necker

by Henri Grange


by Jean Egret
Jacques Necker was born in Switzerland in 1732 of a Swiss mother but a Prussian father who had emigrated from Küstrin in the Mark of Brandenburg and established himself in Geneva as a professor of German public law. Though the family seems to have been in prosperous circumstances, and though …

Which Side Was Clausewitz On?

Clausewitz and the State

by Peter Paret
The German military historian Delbrück, writing in 1907, said of Clausewitz that he was the greatest of all military thinkers: he wrote with the precision of a philosopher and the elegance of Goethe, and his works on strategy were the only ones hitherto produced that deserved the name of classics.

Opening Up the Ruling Class

L'Ancien Régime Vol. 2: Les Pouvoirs

by Pierre Goubert
The first volume of Pierre Goubert’s Ancien Régime, which was concerned with French society between roughly 1600 and 1750, was published in 1969 and reviewed in these columns in January, 1970. The second volume, which has just come out, covers, for the greater part, the same period as the first, …

Counter Revolutionaries

The Counter-Revolution, Doctrine and Action, 1789-1804

by Jacques Godechot, translated by Salvator Attanasio

Power, Property and History

by Joseph Barnave, translated and edited by Emanuel Chill
All three books under review are about revolution and change, though the first is concerned with only fifteen years at the turn of the eighteenth century, while the last two deal with the subject in a general way. The theme of Professor Godechot’s book, which was first published in French …