The French Revolution: From Its Origins to 1793

The French Revolution: From Its Origins to 1793

The French Revolution: From Its Origins to 1793

The French Revolution: From Its Origins to 1793

Synopsis

Internationally renowned as the greatest authority on the French Revolution, Georges Lefebvre combined impeccable scholarship with a lively writing style. His masterly overview of the history of the French Revolution has taken its rightful place as the definitive account. A vivid narrative of events in France and across Europe is combined with acute insights into the underlying forces that created the dynamics of the revolution, as well as the personalities responsible for day-to-day decisions during this momentous period. In tracing the web of intrigues and influences that transpired as the French Revolution, Lefebvre illuminates the fundamentals of historical interpretation and, at the same time, tells a story that will compel every reader.

Excerpt

Georges Lefebvre, when he died in August, 1959, in his eighty-sixth year, was internationally known as the greatest authority on the French Revolution. His career had been extraordinary in its enduring creativity. Born at Lille, the son of a small commercial employee, he obtained secondary and university training with the help of scholarships, taught for more than twenty-five years in secondary schools, and entered university teaching at the age of fifty, after completing a monumental doctoral thesis, Les paysans du Nord pendant la Révolution française.

In the French educational system a period of secondary teaching is not uncommon on the part of scholars awaiting opportunities at the university level. Lefebvre's contribution at each stage far exceeded the usual limits. After the quarter century of labour in provincial archives which paralleled his secondary teaching, he broke new ground by demonstrating in depth what the revolution had meant to the peasants. In the university career which followed, he proved himself, in the art of exposition, the equal of his famous predecessors Alphonse Aulard and Albert Mathiez, and produced syntheses which have ranked him, for

Lille, C. Robbe, 1924. A second edition with the same text but omitting many notes and statistical tables has been issued by an Italian publisher, Laterza (Bari, 1959; Preface by Armando Saitta and Albert Soboul).

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