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First published in 1935, this is widely regarded as the most definitive and comprehensive biography of Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre (1758-1794), the French lawyer and politician who would become one of the best-known and most influential figures associated with the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror.
As a member of the Estates-General, the Constituent Assembly and the Jacobin Club, Robespierre was an outspoken advocate for the poor and for democratic institutions. He campaigned for universal male suffrage in France, price controls on basic food commodities and the abolition of slavery in the French colonies. He played an important role in arranging the execution of King Louis XVI, which led to the establishment of a French Republic.
Perhaps best known for his role in the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror, he was named as a member of the powerful Committee of Public Safety launched by his political ally Georges Danton and exerted his influence to suppress the left-wing Hébertists. As part of his attempts to use extreme measures to control political activity in France, Robespierre later moved against the more moderate Danton, who was accused of corruption and executed in April 1794. The Terror ended a few months later with Robespierre’s arrest and execution in July, events that initiated a period in French history known as the Thermidorian Reaction.
This traditional biography is filled with extensive and reliable research on the man whose steadfast adherence and defense of the views he expressed earned him the nickname l’Incorruptible (The Incorruptible).