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French Revolution
Volume I : The People and the King

Diverging from official History, from school books, this is the French Revolution as seen from the inside. An innovative and thrilling tale.

In 1774, with great acclaim, a young king mounts the throne. “Louis the XVI seems to promise the nation the most peaceful, and rich reign” can be read in the gazettes. Less than twenty years later, known from now on only as Louis Capet, his is sentenced to death and guillotined.

For a long time, Louis XVI was genuinely attentive to the happiness of his subjects, and vacillated between a firm hand and a weak one, faced with the wind of freedom sweeping through the kingdom. His people love him, but they are starving, crushed by taxes, suffering from the arbitrary royal rule, intolerant of the whims, madnesses and balls of the young Queen. Every crown frivolously spent further extends the distance between the King and his people.

Faced with them, Voltaire, Mirabeau, Danton, Marat and Robespierre, call for justice, freedom, and finally to action, to revolution if it comes to it. They give the people hope, show them the example of the United States of America, freshly born from the age of Enlightenment.

The people; the philosophers, the middle class, the clergy, the nobility, the King, everyone, in the end, will be blown away in a violent storm. Max Gallo writes, “like an overflowing river, which burst its banks and is ravaging the fields that it first irrigated, the Revolution covered in blood what she had created”.


“Gallo is a wonderful storyteller of History.”

“A lively style and an acute sense of the historical dramatization.”
La Nouvelle Revue d’Histoire

“A brilliant, fascinating analysis of the Revolution. It’s simple, genuine Max Gallo.”
La Provence

“A brilliant piece of work about the History of our country”
France Dimanche

“Max Gallo paints us a picture of the disintegration of power and the birth of a new world, one that wants to bring peace, but brings war in a river of blood (…) this upheaval is fascinating. It is the novel of our History”
Ouest France


Foreign versions

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