Fatal Purity

Fatal Purity : Robespierre and the French Revolution

3.89 (1,042 ratings by Goodreads)
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'A truly remarkable writer, one of the most gifted non-fiction authors alive' Simon Schama, Financial Times

Robespierre was only thirty-six when he died, sent to the guillotine where he had sent thousands ahead of him. Robespierre and the Revolution were inseparable: a single inflexible tyrant. But what turned a shy young lawyer into the living embodiment of the Terror at its most violent? Admirers called him 'the great incorruptible'; critics dubbed him a 'monster', a 'bloodthirsty charlatan'.

Ruth Scurr sheds new light on this puzzle, tracing Robespierre's life from a troubled childhood in provincial Arras to the passionate idealist, fighting for the rights of the people, and sweeping on to the implacable leader prepared to sign the death warrant for his closest friends.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 26mm | 300g
  • Vintage
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 8
  • 0099458985
  • 9780099458982
  • 135,928

Review Text

Scurr has an important tale to tell, and she tells it judiciously
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Review quote

There is a dazzling light of intellect as much as a thunderous darkness of reality in her fine, humanising portrait * The Times, Ten Best Books of 2006 * Scurr has an important tale to tell, and she tells it judiciously -- Lucy Hughes-Hallett * Sunday Times * Ruth Scurr's aim, in this well written first book, is to provide an accessible, up - to date biography that draws on all this work, and represents Robespierre as a human being rather than as a monster of legend. She succeeds impressively -- Munro Price * Sunday Telegraph * This splendidly balanced account of an unbalanced mind proves that there are monsters of virtue as well as monsters of vice -- Graham Robb * Daily Telegraph * It is judicious, balanced, and admirably clear at every point....It is quite the calmest and least abusive history of the Revolution you will ever read -- Hilary Mantel * London Review of Books *
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About Ruth Scurr

Born in 1971, Ruth Scurr is an historian of Political Thought, specialising in eighteenth-century France. She is an affiliated lecturer at the University of Cambridge, and is a regular reviewer for The Times and the Times Literary Supplement. This is her first book.
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Rating details

1,042 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 26% (272)
4 44% (459)
3 24% (249)
2 4% (46)
1 2% (16)
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