The Oxford History of the French Revolution

The Oxford History of the French Revolution


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This new edition of the most authoritative, comprehensive history of the French Revolution of 1789 draws on a generation of extensive research and scholarly debate to reappraise the most famous of all revolutions. Updates for this second edition include a generous chronology of events, plus an extended bibliographical essay providing an examination of the historiography of the Revolution. Opening with the accession of Louis XVI in 1774, the book traces the history of France through revolution, terror, and counter-revolution, to the triumph of Napoleon in 1802, and analyses the impact of events both in France itself and the rest of Europe. William Doyle shows how a movement which began with optimism and general enthusiasm soon became a tragedy, not only for the ruling orders, but for the millions of ordinary people all over Europe whose lives were disrupted by religious upheaval, and civil and international war. It was they who paid the price for the destruction of the old political order and the struggle to establish a new one, based on the ideals of liberty and revolution, in the face of widespread indifference and hostility.

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  • Paperback | 496 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 34mm | 358.34g
  • Oxford University Press
  • OxfordUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 5 maps
  • 019925298X
  • 9780199252985
  • 24,374

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Review from previous edition ... an outstanding model of clarity and informed scholarship. Simon Schama, New Republic Doyle's book, in its readability, its clarity and its balance, is certainly the best of the general studies of the Revolution that have recently appeared; it will appeal both to the general reader and to the historian. And it deals with the subject, rather than with those who have already written about it. Richard Griffiths, Times Higher Educational Supplement ... a work of breath-taking range which deserves to reach a wide popular market. It is the fullest history to appear of the Revolutionary era, of the events preceding it and of its impact on a wider world. Masterfully written. The Observer He writes lucidly and gracefully, with balance and good judgement ... offers valuable insights into the shadows that the Revolution cast across the century that followed it. Philip Zeigler, Weekend Telegraph Doyle has produced a wonderfully lucid, authoritative and balanced history, ornamented with all the scholarly apparatus one would expect from an Oxford history. Linda Colley, London Review of Books ... excellent narrative history. Spectator ... first-rate synthesis ... The strengths of the book are its firm narrative thread, its measured tone and the extraordinary distillation of knowledge contained in each chapter. The author's familiarity with ongoing research in the field of French revolutionary history is nearly total; the fruits of many historians' labours are deftly summarised, received opinions modified, alternative judgments formulated. In terms of sheer coverage, the book is difficult to fault. Not only is the life of revolutionary France captured in these pages, but that of much of Europe as well. New Statesman efficient book ... William Doyle's account of the course of the Revolution is solid and up-to-date, and will make an excellent textbook. Norman Stone, Sunday Times For readers who need a fairly brisk, non-digressive account of events after the accession of Louis XVI up to Napoleon and the peace of Amiens in 1802, this compact book, by the professor and chairman of the school of history at Bristol University, is the answer. Anthony Curtis, Financial Times ... an excellent text for the early part of the Revolution. London Evening Standard a work of breath-taking range which deserves to reach a wide popular market ... It is the fullest history to appear of the Revolutionary era ... Masterfully written, with a nice sense of the atmosphere and of the physical background to the events recounted. Marianne Elliott, Observer His book is a tour de force of historical scholarship ... and a pleasure to read. Piers Brendon, The Mail on Sunday This is the most comprehensive all-in-one history of the Revolution ... supremely clear and brimming with scholarly detail. Independent ... traditional, scholarly, narrative history ... a clear and balanced picture of the origins of the Revolution. New York Times Book Review A fair, and remarkably complete, account of both the Revolution itself and the years that preceded it ... a book that sets itself to cover an immense amount of ground and ends with a clear and well-balanced final chapter in which he outlines the many gains, and the often heavy cost, of the revolutionary years ... thorough and scholarly appraisal of French cultural values. New York Newsday truly a master narrative of this classical subject of historiography. Alexander Pinwinkler, University of Salzburg

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About Professor William Doyle

William Doyle is Professor of History, University of Bristol. His other books, published by OUP, include Origins of the French Revolution, Old Regime France 1648-1788, The Old European Order 1660-1800, and The French Revolution: A Very Short Introduction.

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