Monday, 21 September 2009

The French Revolution 1789-1799

This one was by Peter McPhee (I would guess there's a fair few books out there with the same or similar titles). I think the best word to describe it is: dry. And complicated. I found it difficult to follow, because my understanding of French is limited to GCSE level (although I did manage to get an A* :D). But there were the odd bits put in without being translated, which unfortunately made very little sense to me. The other part of the confusing side is that he seemed to expect a fair bit of understanding already, which I didn't really have. My only knowledge was related to the storming of the Bastille. It wasn't really a very good introduction. I'd been hoping for something like God's Fury, England's Fire but related to the French Revolution. It did talk a fair bit about the political side of things, and how the Revolution solved some of the French problems, but it was also a little bit boring truth be told.

Some of the stuff about the previous reign was interesting, I'll admit that. The fact that there was no common system of measurement in the country, and every district had their own (sometimes with the same names, even if they were different sizes!), was pretty shocking. And some of what he said about the political system in place, the politics of the mob basically, was interesting. But on the whole, it wasn't really that good. If you want to know about the French Revolution, I don't recommend this one--it left me almost more confused than when I started it.

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