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Times reports – French Revolution. Relive Those Turbulent Times.

French Revolution- Extracts from The Times

These turbulent times are seen here through the eyes of contemporary reports – as they unfolded to us in Britain. And they touched us, too, in that there were elements within our country who not only supported the revolution but wanted one here, in England, too.

Neal Ascherson
Neal Ascherson

The terrible tale unfolds, step by step. The dramatic near escape of the king and his family, their imprisonment and Louis’s final meeting with the guillotine. The anger the people felt towards the Queen and the loud characters like Danton, and Marat, together with his murder are all here. Told by people who were present at the time. Above all, these extracts record the fury and terror of the mob, mixed in with high sentiments and extraordinary ferocity.

This is not a long book. It is not an intellectual assessment of the causes and effects of the French revolution, but as a contemporary account by a respected newspaper, it does have a certain authenticity and a sense of immediacy as one travels through it.

It is easy to imagine my great great grandfather sitting in front of his warm fire, reading these accounts, and sighing just as some of us do today at the antics of certain politicians. But did he also have a sense of dread – “could it happen here?”

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