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French Revolution: A History. Volume 1: The Bastille (Version 2)

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By: (1795-1881)

Subtitled "The Bastille", Volume 1 of Thomas Carlyle's three volume "The French Revolution: A History" was first published in 1837, and covers the events of the French Revolution up to the forced move of Louis XVI from Versailles to Paris. While a modern listener not already familiar with the events described here may need some time to get their bearings amidst a sea of unfamiliar names and allusions, Carlyle's idiosyncratic yet justly famous present-tense, quasi-firsthand narrative quickly builds into a gripping, highly dramatic story which contemporary scholars still regard as being essentially accurate.

It may help the reader to understand that the term 'Oeuil de Boeuf' signifies the palace of the French King, and that references to 'Jean Jacques' are to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whose 1755 book "The Social Contract" argued that 'we are obliged to obey only legitimate powers'. - Summary by Peter Dann

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