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Economic Performance

Sydney Checkland, 19 April 1984

The Victorian Economy 
by François Crouzet, translated by Anthony Forster.
Methuen, 430 pp., £18, June 1982, 0 416 31110 5
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British Economic Growth 1856-1973 
by R.C.O. Matthews, C.H. Feinstein and J.C. Odling-Smee.
Oxford, 712 pp., £37.50, October 1982, 0 19 828453 5
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The Cambridge Economic History of Europe. Vol. VII: The Industrial Economies: Capital, Labour and Enterprise 
edited by Peter Mathias.
Cambridge, 832 pp., £13.50, June 1982, 0 521 28800 2
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... a situation in which British economic and social history is a battlefield of controversies. As Crouzet remarks: ‘unlike in France, the conclusions of the most eminent writers do not become dogmas and are soon challenged.’ But it may be that even the British debate, for all its vigour and its taste for ‘criticism, not to say ...

Napoleon’s Near Miss

Linda Colley, 18 April 1985

Napoleon: The Myth of the Saviour 
by Jean Tulard, translated by Teresa Waugh.
Weidenfeld, 470 pp., £14.95, June 1984, 0 297 78439 0
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Alexis: Tsar of All the Russias 
by Philip Longworth.
Secker, 319 pp., £15, June 1984, 0 436 25688 6
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... Despite his blockade, Britain refused either to succumb or go broke (though Tulard follows François Crouzet in thinking that this was a close-run thing). Napoleon was diverted into Spain and Russia; the booty stopped and the death-rate escalated: 380,000 French soldiers failed to return from Moscow. Such mortality enforced increasingly ...

‘What a man this is, with his crowd of women around him!’

Hilary Mantel: Springtime for Robespierre, 30 March 2000

Robespierre 
edited by Colin Haydon and William Doyle.
Cambridge, 292 pp., £35, July 1999, 0 521 59116 3
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... lived on the first floor, in a low-ceilinged room with the plainest of furnishings.The historian François Furet tells us: ‘The revolution speaks through him its most tragic and purest discourse.’ It does not matter where he lived or what he was like, or that he walked through this gate the day before his horrible death. His temperament is of no ...

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