Trim: 6¼ x 9⅜
978-0-7391-9690-8 • Hardback • March 2015 • $102.00 • (£78.00)
978-0-7391-9691-5 • eBook • March 2015 • $96.50 • (£74.00)
Bette W. Oliver is an independent scholar. She earned a PhD in modern European history from the University of Texas at Austin.
Chapter 1: Un Promeneur Solitaire
Chapter 2: On The National Stage
Chapter 3: The Decisive Year, 1791
Chapter 4: Return to Évreux
Chapter 5: The Birth of The Republic
Chapter 6: The Storm Breaks
Chapter 7: From Caen to St. Emilion
Chapter 8: The Last Days
Oliver chronicles the major events of the French Revolution, into which she inserts the life and political career of Normand lawyer Buzot. As her narrative progresses, the emphasis is placed increasingly on Buzot himself. She provides an excellent perspective to show that what occurred in France between 1789 and 1794 took many unexpected and dramatic turns and that the lives of 'ordinary' people like Buzot were violently impacted in unforeseeable ways.
— French Review
Until now Buzot has never been the subject of a biography in English. In this thoughtful, scholarly, and sensitive study, Bette Oliver throws new light on Buzot’s life, the dilemmas he faced, and the choices he made. She traces the revolutionary context with a sure hand, giving an evocative sense of what it was like for leaders like Buzot to inhabit the maelstrom of revolutionary politics. Oliver makes extensive use of the unedited version of Buzot’s memoirs which he wrote in the final months of his life. Through the memoirs we hear his authentic voice as he struggled to make sense of his dramatic reversal of fortune, and to vindicate the integrity of the Girondins’ intentions to posterity.
— Marisa Linton, Kingston University
In this volume Bette Oliver explores in detail the life of François Buzot, one of the Girondin deputies in the French Revolution whose final days she chronicled in her earlier book, Orphans on the Earth. Oliver describes Buzot as an "unwilling martyr," in contrast to figures such as Robespierre and Manon Roland who anticipated their fate on the guillotine. Drawing on memoirs, letters, and other published sources, Oliver describes Buzot's childhood and family, his early experiences in the Revolution in Normandy, and the path that took him to national prominence in both the Constituent Assembly and the National Convention, where he emerged as a fierce opponent of Robespierre and the Jacobins, and developed a distinctly negative attitude toward the city of Paris. Oliver also examines Buzot's love affair with Manon Roland, which remained a secret for nearly one hundred years after the French Revolution. This is a most engaging portrait of a man who was both an idealist and a romantic.
— Paul Hanson, Butler University