The problem for Robespierre’s biographer was best stated by the 19th-century historian John Wilson Croker. “Of no one of whom so much has been written is so little known,” Croker boldly asserted, before brilliantly characterising the peculiar shape of Robespierre’s revolutionary life: “The blood-red mist by which his last years were enveloped magnified his form but obscured his features. Like the Genius of the Arabian tale, he emerged suddenly from a petty space into enormous power and gigantic size, and as suddenly vanished, leaving behind him no trace but terror.”
Read the rest of the review at Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life by Peter McPhee – review | Books | The Observer.
Review by Ruth Scurr – The Observer
Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life by Peter McPhee on Amazon.com