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Seminar Reading: Week 14

Week 13 – Robespierre: Monster or Scapegoat?


Core primary sources


Robespierre, Report on the Principles of Political Morality (5 February 1794), in Baker, ORFR, doc. 42, 368-384.


Core secondary sources


Two views on Robespierre: P. McPhee and C. Jones (2015)


H-France Salon, Vol. 7, Issue 14
The Robespierre Problem
Edited by Peter McPhee, University of Melbourne
The Robespierre Problem: An Introduction, Peter McPhee, University of Melbourne
The Robespierre Problem, David Andress, University of Portsmouth
The Choices of Maximilien Robespierre, Marisa Linton, Kingston University

For those with French:
Robespierre pris au piège des mécanismes d’épuration politique, Michel Biard, GRHis, Normandie Université, Rouen
Aux origines du « problème » Robespierre: l’historien face à ses interrogations, Hervé Leuwers, Université Lille 3 - UMR IRHiS

Further reading

Awkward BBC documentary on the Terror but helpful for grasping the larger implications of debates over Robespierre

P. McPhee, Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life (2012)

C. Jones lecture (2015)

F. Furet, ‘Terror’ in Furet/Ozouf (eds.), Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution (1989)

N. Hampson, Life and Opinions of Maximilien Robespierre (1974)

D.P. Jordan, The Revolutionary Career of Maximilien Robespierre (1985)

J. Israel, Revolutionary Ideas: An Intellectual History of the French Revolution from The Rights of Man to Robespierre (2015)

M. Linton, Choosing Terror: Virtue, Friendship, and Authenticity in the French Revolution (2013)

R. Palmer, Twelve Who Ruled (1941)

Haydon & W. Doyle (eds), Robespierre (1999)

R. Scurr, Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution (2007)

C. Haydon & W. Doyle (eds), Robespierre (1999)

N. Hampson, Danton (1978)

N. Hampson, Saint-Just

L. Gershoy, Bertrand Barère (1962)




For those who read French, two good recent biographies include

J-C Martin, Robespierre: La fabrication d’un monster (2016)

H. Leuwers, Robespierre (2014)

G. Lefebvre, ‘Sur la lois du 22 priarial an II’, in idem, Études sur la Révolution française (1963)

F. Brunel, Thermidor, La Chute de Robespierre (1989)

M. Belissa and Y. Bosc, Robespierre La Fabrication d'un Mythe (2013)