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Megalomaniac and Loser

Norman Hampson, 21 March 1985

Beyond the Terror: Essays in French Regional and Social History 1794-1815 
edited by Gwynne Lewis and Colin Lucas.
Cambridge, 276 pp., £22.50, October 1983, 0 521 25114 1
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Chouannerie and Counter-Revolution: Puisaye, the Princes and the British Government in the 1790s 
by Maurice Hutt.
Cambridge, 630 pp., £60, December 1983, 0 521 22603 1
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Britain and Revolutionary France: Conflict, Subversion and Propaganda 
edited by Colin Jones.
Exeter, 96 pp., £1.75, June 1983, 0 85989 179 8
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... other, we should know that they were all dead. The volume of essays, edited by Gwynne Lewis and Colin Lucas in honour of Richard Cobb, deals mostly with the later years of the Revolution, between the fall of Robespierre and the advent of Bonaparte. The period has always been rather an embarrassment to historians who are looking for patterns. If the ...


Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie: Who Controls Henry James?, 4 December 1980

by Richard Cobb.
Oxford, 158 pp., £5.95, June 1980, 0 19 211758 0
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... of certain marvellously surprised paintings by the Douanier Rousseau. For the English historian Colin Lucas, Cobb’s already substantial work is an empirical model of a certain kind of Anglo-Saxon view of France, which sees the decades of the 1960s and 1970s refracted by the French Revolution. The latter has for long been the great theme of the author ...

Cobban’s Vindication

Olwen Hufton, 20 August 1981

Origins of the French Revolution 
by William Doyle.
Oxford, 247 pp., £12.50, January 1981, 0 19 873020 9
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... and Ravitch exposed the myth of an increasing noble stranglehold on offices in church and state. Colin Lucas pertinently observed that this was a society of aristocratic aspirations defining itself by the status symbols of the past – land, seigneurial rights and office – rather than the economic resources of the future. There certainly was a large ...

Comparative Horrors

Timothy Garton Ash: Delatology, 19 March 1998

Accusatory Practices: Denunciation in Modern European History, 1789-1989 
edited by Sheila Fitzpatrick and Robert Gellately.
Chicago, 231 pp., $27.95, September 1997, 0 226 25273 6
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... generally implies a regular, paid relationship with the police. A richly detailed essay by Colin Lucas on denunciation during the French Revolution makes the first important point that, contrary to my theatre director’s assumption, selfish motives are not a defining feature of denunciation. In fact, the French revolutionaries coined the word ...

Tea with Medea

Simon Skinner: Richard Cobb, 19 July 2012

My Dear Hugh: Letters from Richard Cobb to Hugh Trevor-Roper and Others 
Frances Lincoln, 240 pp., £20, October 2011, 978 0 7112 3240 2Show More
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... create, and methodologically couldn’t have created, a school of history. As his former student Colin Lucas explains in an entry in the DNB, while Cobb’s students ‘learned the value of the provincial history of the period, the importance of large-scale reading of manuscript archives at all levels, and the necessity of a real enthusiasm for ...

Seventy Years in a Colourful Trade

Andrew O’Hagan: The Soho Alphabet, 16 July 2020

Tales from the Colony Room: Soho’s Lost Bohemia 
by Darren Coffield.
Unbound, 364 pp., £25, April 2020, 978 1 78352 816 5
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... at the bar with Douglas Gordon while he drew me pictures of devils (I have them somewhere). Sarah Lucas and I walked the streets in search of more drink after Damien Hirst told Will Self to ‘crack a fucking smile’. I think I sang with Milli Vanilli. Life coaches will tell you that nothing interesting happens after three o’clock in the morning. They’re ...

When the beam of light has gone

Peter Wollen: Godard Turns Over, 17 September 1998

The Films of Jean-Luc Godard 
by Wheeler Winston Dixon.
SUNY, 290 pp., £17.99, March 1997, 0 7914 3285 8
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Speaking about Godard 
by Kaja Silverman and Harun Farocki.
New York, 256 pp., $55, July 1998, 0 8147 8066 0
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... of continuity. In the most useful sketch of Godard’s development to date, published in 1991, Colin MacCabe divided his life into seven schematic episodes, which could be summarised and rephrased as follows. 1. Childhood. Godard was born in Switzerland in 1930. His father was a successful doctor who ran a private clinic in Nyon, his mother a member of a ...

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