The Great Nation: France from Louis XV to Napoleon: The New Penguin History of France

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Penguin UK, May 29, 2003 - History - 688 pages

There can be few more mesmerising historical narratives than the story of how the dazzlingly confident and secure monarchy Louis XIV, 'the Sun King', left to his successors in 1715 became the discredited, debt-ridden failure toppled by Revolution in1789. The further story of the bloody unravelling of the Revolution until its seizure by Napoleon is equally astounding.

Colin Jones' brilliant new book is the first in 40 years to describe the whole period. Jones' key point in this gripping narrative is that France was NOT doomed to Revolution and that the 'ancien regime' DID remain dynamic and innovatory, twisting and turning until finally stoven in by the intolerable costs and humiliation of its wars with Britain.


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User Review  - Widsith - LibraryThing

The Abbé Siéyès, when asked what exactly he had done during the Terror, famously replied, J'ai vécu (‘I survived’). Part of me wants to say something similar about getting through this book, which ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

Jones is at his best when tracing the forces that hollowed out the French Bourbon state; the Enlightenment, the economic pressures impacting French society, the growth of social consciousness, and the ... Read full review


The Regency and the Advent
War and Terror 17915
The Unsteady Republic 17959
The Brumaire Leviathan and la Grande Nation
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About the author (2003)

Colin Jones is Professor of History at the University of Warwick and is now writing PARIS: A HISTORY for Allen Lane.

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