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Publisher's Summary

This decidedly unusual book gives an excellent account of what its title purports. Rendering fresh views, not only of the poet and engraver William Blake and the radical democratic pamphleteer Thomas Paine, but of the entirety of that cavalcade of events encompassed under the rubric of revolution in the 18th century—in America, in France, and in the Caribbean island known today as Haiti, as well as of the reform and radical movements contemporaneous in Britain with the rise of empire and “industrialism”. Proceedings that have had an influence on the debates on liberty and equality, and sovereign authority, in the ensuing two centuries; that remain, despite ever-burgeoning scholarship, controversial and perplexing, even elusive, today.

William S. King’s vividly written and excellently researched narrative also doubles as a noteworthy literary examination, including Mary Wollstonecraft and Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine and William Blake, Marat and Condorcet, and the booksellers Nicolas Bonneville and Joseph Johnson, and many, many others—all mounted in memorable and sometimes gory tableaux, sketched against the turbulence of the time.

This book will interest a diverse set of listeners, all who are concerned with the ideas propounded at the end of the 18th century, by these persons and stirred by these events.

©2022 William King (P)2022 William King
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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  • Alan E Paull
  • 09-10-22

Cause of the Narrator

This book is probably very good. But I never reached the end, because the performance of the narrator, Andrea Giordani, is very poor. Unfortunately, she cannot pronounce some English words properly: for example, the "th" in the River Thames is not pronounced as "th" in "thief", and neither is the "th" in Thomas Jefferson. Some of her incorrect pronunciations made sentences unitelligible, others rather comical, including "hoovering" instead of "hovering" - an unfortunate error. Then, we have the French bits, which if anything were worse. When the French king flees Paris, it is the flight to Varennes, not the flight to Vernay, and the "z" on Dumouriez and "t" on Condorcet should be silent. I stopped the audio and abandoned the book at "le poople francois" for the French people.

If you would like to read this book, get it on paper or ebook, not this audio.