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An Eye-Witness Account of the French Revolution by Helen Maria Williams

Letters Containing a Sketch of the Politics of France

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Jack Fruchtman

Helen Maria Williams (1761-1827), English poet, novelist, and chronicler of the French Revolution, here vividly recounts her experiences in France during the Terror. Arrested in the fall of 1793, Williams records with passion and sorrow the degeneration of the Revolution into chaos and murder. She sketches the colorful personalities of her friends and acquaintances (Madame Roland, Charlotte Corday, Georges-Jacques Danton) and enemies (Maximilien Robespierre, Louis-Antoine de St. Just, Jean Paul Marat), while all the time displaying her enduring optimism that Revolution would eventually succeed in liberty and justice for people everywhere.