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Cat's Cradle Blog

Archive for July 14th, 2012

Happy Bastille Day, Francophile readers!

Saturday, July 14th, 2012
History of the Girondists

DeLamartine's History of the Girondists, 3 vol., 1848 (English translation)

Allons, enfants de la patrie!

It’s July 14, Bastille Day.  In France, the tricolor is on display and the strains of La Marseillaise, the French national anthem, are in the air.  Once again in the month of July/Juillet, we honor a great revolution.

This time it’s the French Revolution, which began in 1789 and ended – well – that depends on your interpretation of history. Did it end with the accession of Napoleon Bonaparte to power? Or was that simply another unfolding stage? In any event, the Revolution toppled a dynastic monarchy, sent tens of thousands of French citizens – not to mention their king and queen – to the guillotine, and transformed the face of Europe and the world in an era of Napoleonic war.

In honor of this important French holiday marking the storming of the Bastille in Paris, the symbolic onset of the French Revolution in 1789, here’s some reading.

Aux armes, citoyens!