History of the Wars of the French Revolution, Vol. 1 of 2

History of the Wars of the French Revolution, Vol. 1 of 2

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Excerpt from History of the Wars of the French Revolution, Vol. 1 of 2: From the Breaking Out of the War in 1792, to the Restoration of a General Peace, in 1815; Comprehending the Civil History of Great Britain and France During That Period

The following history of that extraordinary period which commenced with the American Revolution, and ended with the establishment of a general peace in Europe, in 1815 - a period pre-eminently distinguished for intellectual activity and material advancement, for extraordinary characters and great deeds, for the overthrow of old institutions and the establishment of new ones, for the breaking up of tyrannies dishonoured with the hoar of centuries, and the progress of liberty - it has generally been allowed, is upon the whole the most judicious, interesting, and trustworthy, that we have yet in the English language. The expectation that the brilliant work of Alison would supersede it has been disappointed by the manifest spirit of partiality and injustice with which that performance is written, especially in respect to every point connected with the affairs of our own country. The "History of the French Revolution," by Carlyle, covers but a small portion of the ground embraced by Alison and Baines; and the more elaborate and extensive survey of the field by Thiers, it is safe to say, will never be perfectly naturalized in any tongue foreign to that eminent author. For conscientious fidelity, general good sense, statesmanlike grasp, and moral discrimination, these volumes, by the eminent Edward Baines, continue to be consulted and esteemed by the best-informed students of the astonishing world-drama they describe.

In republishing an earlier edition of this excellent history, the late well-known and very able writer, Mr. William Grimshaw (who died in Philadelphia on the 8th of January, 1852), was employed to re-write some portions in which American interests were treated, and to illustrate with such notes and additions as were necessary for the American reader, the remaining portions of the work. The manner in which he performed his difficult and important duty has been commended by die most distinguished critics. As Mr. Grimshaw left the work, and as it is here presented to the public, it must command the most entire and general approbation.

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