A provincial lawyer from Arras, Robespierre (1758-94) dominated France at the height of the Revolution, the event which more than any other, shaped modern history. Robespierre had an enigmatic and contradictory personality, reclusive, cerebral and austere, yet at the same time both neurotic and theatrical with a solitary lifestyle, hidden away even at the height of his fame in modest lodgings with a family he trusted. Others have written extensively by concentrating on analyzing Robespierre's set-piece speeches to parliament and the Jacobian club, but John Hardman gets behind the polished but chilly surface of the public persona by examining Robespierre at his desk rather that at the rostrum. Concentrating on Robespierre's administration rather than his rhetoric, "Robespierre" offers not only a brilliant original analysis of its formidable protagonist, but also a dramatic vantage point from which to survey the main phase of the Revolution itself, from the fall of the ancien regeime to the end of the Terror. As a title in the very popular "Profiles in Power" series, this is not a biography, though inevitably it contains much biographical material, it instead analyzes the major features, achievements and failures of Robespierre's career.
John Hardman formerely of the University of Edinburgh has written" Louis XVI" (Yale 1993) and" French Politics" (Longman 1995).
John Hardman formerely of the University of Edinburgh has written " Louis XVI" (Yale 1993) and " French Politics" (Longman 1995).
'Its judgments are characteristically balanced and dispassionate and...entirely convincing.' English Historical Review