The Terror: Civil War in the French Revolution by David Andress - review by Christopher Sinclair-Stevenson

Christopher Sinclair-Stevenson

Heads Will Roll

The Terror: Civil War in the French Revolution


Little, Brown 437pp £20 order from our bookshop

This sounds familiar: ‘There is no doubt that he was a good man and a loving father and husband, nor that he had the intellectual capacity to cope with affairs of state. He was, however, a vacillator, often unable to decide between conflicting courses of action, anxious to avoid confrontation, and inclined to give his backing to whoever had had the last word, whatever their merits.’ He was often heard to say, ‘I want to be loved.’

David Andress could almost be writing about our own beloved Prince of Wales. But he is actually describing the character – well-meaning, not uncourageous, but deeply flawed – of Louis XVI, one of the last Bourbons, who, famously, could neither remember nor forget anything.

A description of the ludicrous flight to

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