Edward Vallance

The Revolution Will Not Be Realised

The Road Not Taken: How Britain Narrowly Missed a Revolution


The Bodley Head 610pp £25 order from our bookshop

Historians are fond of making grand claims for their particular periods of interest: to take just one example, a recent major history of the Glorious Revolution by Steve Pincus, 1688: The First Modern Revolution, contained the claim that it was not only bloodier than the French Revolution but also established the template for all subsequent modern revolutions. Arguments such as this certainly have value in provoking historical debate but they can become wearing when every historical event is described, either by historians or their publicists, as a ‘turning-point’, ‘watershed’, or suchlike.  It is refreshing, then, to be confronted with a book whose aim is actually the reverse: to show why Britain has not, contrary to the arguments of historians such as Pincus, experienced a ‘real’ revolution.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Hart sets out to unsettle, startle and disturb. In this strange, disconcerting, radical version of a strange, disc… ,
    • Here is @MannJessica's June crime fiction round-up, discussing books by Georges Simenon, Jack Grimwood,… ,
    • John Stubbs reviews Stephen Greenblatt's latest, 'Tyrant: Shakespeare on Power' ,
    • RT : What happened when US military strategist Herman Kahn - one of Kubrick’s three models for Dr Strangelove - took LSD… ,
    • 'Pollan has no doubt that the use of psychedelics could have a powerfully beneficial effect on a range of condition… ,
    • A memoir about an Untouchable family and the 'formation of modern India': 'Ants among Elephants' by @gidla_sujatha… ,
    • RT : First founded in Edinburgh in 1979, is considered a trusted independent source for reviews of new book… ,