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The Eve of the French Revolution   By: (1845-1894)

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In "The Eve of the French Revolution" by Edward J. Lowell, readers are transported to the late 18th century France, particularly to the years leading up to the infamous French Revolution. Lowell creates a comprehensive and engaging account of the political, social, and economic circumstances that contributed to this monumental event in history.

One of the defining aspects of this book is Lowell's meticulous research. He delves deep into the events preceding the Revolution, providing a wealth of facts and details that allows readers to fully grasp the complexities of the time period. Lowell's in-depth analysis of the political climate, along with the personal narratives of key figures and ordinary citizens, creates a vivid picture of the growing unrest and dissatisfaction that ultimately culminated in the revolution.

Furthermore, Lowell's writing style is both informative and accessible. Despite the heavy historical content, he manages to maintain a level of readability that keeps readers engaged from start to finish. He strikes a fine balance between academic rigor and storytelling, ensuring that the book will captivate both scholars and general history enthusiasts alike.

One of the book's notable strengths lies in its thorough examination of socioeconomic factors that contributed to the revolution. Lowell explores the wealth disparities, taxes, and inflation, shedding light on the grievances that drove the masses to an uprising. Through these discussions, he showcases his expertise in economic history and its intersections with politics, providing readers with a deeper understanding of the revolution's context.

Additionally, Lowell's attention to detail extends beyond the political and economic spheres. He also explores the cultural and intellectual developments of the time, highlighting the influence of Enlightenment ideas and the emotional impact they had on the population. By considering these elements, Lowell adeptly reveals the broader societal shifts that played a crucial role in setting the stage for the revolution.

While the book effectively captures the events and atmosphere of the French Revolution's prelude, one minor drawback is its occasionally dense prose. At times, readers may find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information presented. However, this is a minor critique in light of the book's overall contribution to the understanding of this pivotal historical period.

In conclusion, "The Eve of the French Revolution" by Edward J. Lowell is a compelling and highly informative account of the circumstances leading up to one of history's most significant revolutions. Lowell's meticulous research, accessible writing style, and comprehensive analysis make this book an invaluable resource for anyone interested in understanding the complex factors that shaped the French Revolution.

First Page:

Tonya Allen, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.






There are two ways in which the French Revolution may be considered. We may look at the great events which astonished and horrified Europe and America: the storming of the Bastille, the march on Versailles, the massacres of September, the Terror, and the restoration of order by Napoleon. The study of these events must always be both interesting and profitable, and we cannot wonder that historians, scenting the approaching battle, have sometimes hurried over the comparatively peaceful country that separated them from it. They have accepted easy and ready made solutions for the cause of the trouble. Old France has been lurid in their eyes, in the light of her burning country houses. The Frenchmen of the eighteenth century, they think, must have been wretches, or they could not so have suffered. The social fabric, they are sure, was rotten indeed, or it would never have gone to pieces so suddenly.

There is, however, another way of looking at that great revolution of which we habitually set the beginning in 1789. That date is, indeed, momentous; more so than any other in modern history. It marks the outbreak in legislation and politics of ideas which had already been working for a century, and which have changed the face of the civilized world... Continue reading book >>

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