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List of historians of the French Revolution

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This is a list of a few historians during the French Revolution.

Historians of the RevolutionEdit

  • F.A. Aulard - Founded the Société de l’Histoire de la Révolution and the bimonthly review Révolution française. Numerous works develop his republican, bourgeois, and anticlerical view of the revolution.
  • Louis Blanc - Blanc's 13-volume Histoire de la Révolution française (1847–1862) displays utopian socialist views, and sympathizes with Jacobinism.
  • Edmund Burke - Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) is mainly a polemical work rather than a history, but worth reading for an English conservative's look at what he saw as excesses of the Revolution, several years before the Reign of Terror. Burke's foresight in this respect may have helped to fuel the revolutionaries' paranoia about foreigners before and during the Terror. Alternating calculated analysis with highly skilled appeals to the era's "sensibility", Burke's exemplary, active rhetoric places his polemic among the required classics for all schools of political thought.
  • Thomas Carlyle - Carlyle's two-volume The French Revolution, A History (1837) is a romantic work, both in style and viewpoint. Passionate in his concern for the poor and in his interest in the fears and hopes of revolution, Carlyle (while reasonably historically accurate) is often more concerned with conveying his impression of the hopes and aspirations of people (and his opposition to ossified ideology—"formulas" or "Isms"—as he called them) than with strict adherence to fact.
  • Alfred Cobban
  • Owen Connelly - The French Revolution (with Fred E. Hembree) 1993.
  • William Doyle - Origins of the French Revolution (1988)
  • Francois Furet - 20th century revisionist French historian
  • The French Revolution 1770-1814 (1996) ISBN 0631202994
  • A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution (1989) ISBN 0674177282 co-authored with Mona Ozouf and Arthur Goldhammer
  • Pierre Gaxotte - Royalist: The French Revolution (1928)
  • Daniel Guerin stresses the antagonism between the Jacobins like Robespierre and the masses they instrumentalised.
  • François Guizot
  • Olwen Hufton
  • Lynn Hunt - Though often characterized as a "feminist" interpreter of the Revolution, Hunt is a consummate historian, and relatively conservative for a feminist historian. Her most influential works, including The Family Romance of the French Revolution, carry the "revolutionary history as experience" approach to its furthest extreme: the subconscious. Her exploration of ancien-régime and Revolutionary psychology has had an enormous impact on modern historical writing, even beyond the topic of the Revolution. Writing at the juncture of the Revisionist, the neo-Revisionist, and the anti-Revisionist understandings of the Revolution, Hunt's focus on a literal "body politic" represents both sexes, and all classes, in the 18th century political sphere.
  • Jean Jaurès - Socialist politician and historian during the early years of the Third Republic.
  • Georges Lefebvre - Numerous works, including La Révolution française (revised edition 1951, translated in two volumes as The French Revolution (1962–1964) and The French Revolution from 1793 to 1799 (1964). Marxist; "history from below".
  • G. Lenotre (1855-1935, the pen name of Théodore Gosselin)
  • Albert Mathiez - La Révolution français (3 volumes, 1922–1927, translated 1928, reprinted 1962) gives a socialist perspective on the revolution; worked closely with Jean Jaurès. Mathiez is one of the more outspoken partisans of Robespierre.
  • Jules Michelet - Michelet's Histoire de la revolution française, published after the Revolution of 1848 is one of the lesser works of a generally highly esteemed writer. To quote the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, "In actual picturesqueness as well as in general veracity of picture, the book cannot approach Carlyle's; while as a mere chronicle of the events it is inferior to half a dozen prosaic histories older and younger than itself." More recently, though viewed still as a flawed work, it has seen renewed influence for its appraisal of the Revolution in its own terms. Michelet has, with Carlyle, disciples in several schools of modern history, whose common aim is to approach the subject matter through involvement rather than objectivity.
  • François Mignet - Histoire de la Révolution Française (1824) first translated into English (1846). [3]
  • Edgar Quinet - Late Romantic anti-Catholic nationalist.
  • George Rudé - The Crowd in the French Revolution
  • Simon Schama - Schama's Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution (1989) is a generally moderate/conservative history of the period. Its narrative- while massive- focuses on the most visible leaders of the Revolution, even through its more "popular" phases. The book's allegiance is to historical literary styles rather than schools. Thus Schama is simultaneously able to deny "any imagined" bourgeois revolution; reserve apotheoses for Robespierre, Louis XVI, and the sans-culottes alike; and utilize historical nuance to a degree usually associated with more liberal historians. Borrowing from the Romantics for imagery (the introduction closely follows that of Michelet's "History...") and a less violent use of their polemics, "Citizens" also refutes the Romantics' belief in the necessity of the Revolution. Though not an all-encompassing work, it is a solid, engaging interpretation that serves unusually well, for its depth, as an introduction.
  • Albert Soboul - A left-wing late twentieth-century historian who wrote extensively about the French Revolution. His most influential book, the uncompromisingly verbose, Sans-Culottes, instituted a "history from below" approach that took the theory of popular influence to a personal level previously reserved (even in the Marxist school that educated the author) only for the Revolution's most visible actors. Though the work is more exhaustingly informative than engaging, it is acknowledged that any serious understanding of the Revolution is significantly incomplete without its consultation.
  • Albert Sorel - diplomatic historian; Europe et la Révolution française (8 volumes, 1895–1904); introductory section of this work translated as Europe under the Old Regime (1947).
  • Timothy Tackett - A leading anti-revisionist historian of the Revolution known for his archival research.
  • Hippolyte Taine - Taine's 3-volume The French Revolution constitutes volumes 2-4 of his The Origins of Contemporary France. [4] Among the more conservative of the originators of social history.
  • Alexis de Tocqueville - L’Ancien Régime et la révolution (1856, translated 1856)

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