Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution Paperback – 5 Apr 2007
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"There is a dazzling light of intellect as much as a thunderous darkness of reality in her fine, humanising portrait" (The Times, Ten Best Books of 2006)
"Scurr has an important tale to tell, and she tells it judiciously" (Lucy Hughes-Hallett Sunday Times)
"Ruth Scurr's aim, in this well written first book, is to provide an accessible, up - to date biography that draws on all this work, and represents Robespierre as a human being rather than as a monster of legend. She succeeds impressively" (Munro Price Sunday Telegraph)
"This splendidly balanced account of an unbalanced mind proves that there are monsters of virtue as well as monsters of vice" (Graham Robb Daily Telegraph)
"It is judicious, balanced, and admirably clear at every point....It is quite the calmest and least abusive history of the Revolution you will ever read" (Hilary Mantel London Review of Books)
How idealism turned to blood: a powerful new portrait of the most enigmatic politician of all times, and a vivid re-reading of the turbulent French Revolution itself.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Ruth Scurr has specialised in the history of ideas, and in her book she places more importance on Robespierre's ideas than his actions. However, she is scrupulous in setting out the reasons why she comes to a particular view, so that one can use the background she provides to form a different view. I felt that she was a little too sympathetic to Robespierre, and in two areas her sympathy may have misled her.Read more ›
This is fine revisionist writing, clearly argued, and above all, absolutely unputdownable. The sort of book you think will take you a week, but which you finish in a day and a half.
I read this book quickly, and will definitely read it again - having it on my kindle means I have been able to add useful highlights and notes. I am also looking for the Norman Hampson biography which looks at Max from 4 points of view - hard to find.
La Révolution française et Camille DesmoulinsDantonDantonA Place of Greater SafetyCitizens: A Chronicle of The French Revolution
Fatal Purity shows you the contradictions in Robespierre's character along with his real belief that he was right and how those around him either had to agree wholeheartedly or stand against him.
Ruth Scurr charts the rise of Robespierre's political ambitions and his change in viewpoint on the use of heath as a weapon and finally shows how he finally failed in his aim and followed his former enemies to the guillotine.
I believe not enough is known about the personalities involved in the French Revolution, especially as they were the people who changed the course of history for an entire country and helped make it into what it is today.
I would definately recommend this book to anyone interested in French or European history (& have already recommended it to my mum)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have over 300 books on the French Revolution and this is one of the best researched biographies I have read.Published 3 months ago by Mr M S Tayler
An excellent book giving plenty of historical detail for one in the first year of a history degreePublished 4 months ago by Deborah Harris
This is an amazing study of this fascinating character told in such engaging and simple language. It is so clear and vivid that you feel as if you are witnessing everything... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Declan McManus
I must admit that I’ve always looked on the events of 1789 as a prelude to Napoleon rather than being interesting in their own right. Read morePublished 10 months ago by A. M. Attwood
Who was Robespierre? The man who presided over The Terror – a blood-red fiend, or just a man caught up in a series of struggles to preserve his integrity and his position at the... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Eileen Shaw
I read this in the wake of reading Hilary Mantel's "A Place of Greater Security" to compare the fictional to the factual account of this weird but important character. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Peter Cottrell
It gives a complementary and focussed view of the French Revolution.
Very well documented and easy to read, despite its length.
I really enjoyed reading this book as I find the life of Robespierre interesting and I especially like how Ruth Scurr goes into Robespierre's personal life.Published on 2 Jan. 2013 by Lemon Turtle
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