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

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By: (1795-1881)

In his detailed and gripping account of the French Revolution, Thomas Carlyle's "French Revolution: A History. Volume 1: The Bastille" provides a comprehensive overview of the events leading up to the storming of the Bastille. Carlyle's vivid descriptions and thorough research bring to life the political turmoil, social unrest, and cultural changes that characterized this pivotal moment in history.

Carlyle's writing style is engaging and captivating, drawing the reader in with his insightful analysis and compelling narrative. He explores the complex motivations of key figures, such as Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and Maximilien Robespierre, shedding light on their roles in the unfolding drama.

One of the standout aspects of Carlyle's work is his attention to detail and his ability to convey the chaotic and tumultuous atmosphere of revolutionary France. His descriptions of the Bastille's fall are particularly vivid, capturing the sense of excitement and uncertainty that characterized the event.

Overall, "French Revolution: A History. Volume 1: The Bastille" is a must-read for anyone interested in the French Revolution or in the broader themes of revolution, power, and social change. Carlyle's detailed research, engaging narrative, and insightful analysis make this book a valuable addition to the study of history.

Book Description:
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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