Some fifty years ago, the historian of intellectual life Robert Darnton, after finishing his doctoral work at Oxford, was researching the writer and Girondin leader Jacques-Pierre Brissot.

Very much a man of his time, Brissot had composed various political tracts in the 1780s as well as a spicy libel about the Queen of France, called Passe-temps d’Antoinette— Antoinette’s Pastimes (the coyness of the genre’s titles has little changed over the centuries)—earning him a spell in the Bastille. Years later, as a member of the Convention and naively believing that France’s Revolutionary atmosphere was less threatening, he found himself on the wrong side of Maximilien Robespierre, a mistake that earned him a more permanent spell in the grounds of the Chapelle expiatoire after a brief stop at the Place de la Concorde. In happier days,...


A Message from the Editors

As a reader of our efforts, you have stood with us on the front lines in the battle for culture. Learn how your support contributes to our continued defense of truth.

Popular Right Now