Before the Terror and then the Napoleonic Wars made it impracticable to travel through France, many young British men and women were able to watch at first hand the changes taking place in French society an the agitations that were becoming increasingly loud for reform. This book, originally published in 1987, is a study of France in these crucial years seen through the eyes of the travellers. It marries the travellers’ accounts to analysis of the political state of France to produce a book equally illuminating of British taste and attitudies to France, and of the French political and social scene.
Part 1: Economic and Social Conditions 1. The Land and the Peasants 2. The Towns, Trade and Industry 3. The Privileged Orders 4. Justice 5. Popular Amusements Part 2: The Collapse of Absolute Monarchy 6. The Last Years of Louis XV 7. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette