Orphans on the Earth

Orphans on the Earth : Girondin Fugitives from the Terror, 1793-94

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The memoirs of the expelled Girondin deputies-Buzot, Petion, Barbaroux, and Louvet-provide the basis for this book, which documents their lives as fugitives from June 1793 to June 1794, by which time only Louvet remained alive. Earlier treatments have focused on the Jacobin/Girondin quarrels in the National Assembly from 1791-1793, but this is the first book to examine the fate of the Girondin fugitives during the Terror.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 140 pages
  • 149.86 x 231.14 x 12.7mm | 362.87g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • maps
  • 0739127314
  • 9780739127315
  • 2,131,522

About Bette W. Oliver

Bette W. Oliver of Austin, Texas, is an independent scholar with a Ph.D. in Modern European History from the University of Texas at Austin. A specialist in eighteenth-century France, she is the author of From Royal to National: The Louvre Museum and the Bibliotheque Nationale (2007). With an educational background in both journalism and history, she served as the associate editor of the interdisciplinary journal Libraries & Culture from 1986 to 2005. In addition to her work as a historian, she is the author of eight volumes of poetry, much of it about France.show more

Review quote

Based largely on the manuscript memoirs and correspondence of Francois Buzot, Jerome Petion, Charles Barbaroux, Jean-Baptiste Louvet, and Madame Roland, Bette Oliver's Orphans on the Earth narrates, from their perspective, the story of these members of the Girondin faction, their expulsion from the Convention, and their flight from Paris. By relating in evocative detail the previously untold account of their harrowing year of pursuit by the Jacobins, this book lays bare the tragic human cost of the French Revolution and allows the reader to experience the daily life of a fugitive during the Terror. -- Robert W. Brown, University of North Carolina at Pembroke The final chapter of Girondin history deserves to be better known. Oliver's latest book is a solid, sympathetic study of these revolutionary leaders after they lost power. Hers is a very human tale of fascinating people drawn largely from their own words; it is a sad story of devoted men defeated and hunted down by the opponents. This book is a fine assessment of the Girondins in their last days. -- Michael W. Howell, College of the Ozarks The phrase "orphans of the earth" was coined by Francois Buzot, one of twenty-nine Girondin deputies expelled from the National Convention in the summer of 1793 following the successful Jacobin coup and placed under house arrest. Those who chose to remain in the capital were put on trial and would die on the guillotine...Oliver tells it well, movingly at times, and does nothing to hide her sympathy for the fugitives and for those who, like Marie-Therese Bouquey in Saint-Emilion, got caught up in their escape and paid a terrible price for helping them. Petite histoire is may be, a story made for the romantic spirit of the age. But it is not without interest, and it provides a fitting postscript to the political careers of some of the most prominent leaders of the Gironde. American Historical Review Oliver's prose is highly readable, and her work will have great appeal to the casual reader and nonspecialist scholar...Oliver's work is a welcome contribution to an overlooked aspect of the Terror. Eighteenth-Century Studiesshow more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Chapter 1. The Rolands and Their Circle (1791-93) Chapter 3 Chapter 2. Escape from Paris (Summer 1793) Chapter 4 Chapter 3. On the Run (Summer 1793) Chapter 5 Chapter 4. Buzot's Perspective (1791-94) Chapter 6 Chapter 5. Barbaroux's Account (1791-93) Chapter 7 Chapter 6. Louvet's Journey (November 1793-April 1974) Chapter 8 Chapter 7. The Last Days (June-July 1794) Chapter 9 Conclusionshow more