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LETTRES SUR L'HISTOIRE DE FRANCE

(XIII–XXIV)

London: C. J. CLAY AND SON, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS WAREHOUSE,

AVE MARIA LANE.

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LETTRES
SUR L'HISTOIRE DE FRANCE

(XIII-XXIV)

PAR

AUGUSTIN THIERRY,

EDITED BY

GUSTAVE MASSON,

B.A. UNIV. GALLIC., OFFICIER D'ACADÉMIE,
ASSISTANT MASTER AND LIBRARIAN OF HARROW SCHOOL,

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PREFACE.

THE present volume contains M. Augustin Thierry's Lettres sur l'histoire de France (XIII-XXIV) treating of the rise and progress of the communal movement in France. It would, we believe, be impossible to find in the whole range of modern French literature any scenes more picturesque, more brilliant, and more thoroughly dramatic than the episodes given in these twelve chapters. We see there the author at his best; he has often and very justly been found fault with for laying too much stress upon the antagonism of races; this theory, which disfigures his history of the Norman conquest, has no opportunity for protruding itself in an account of the mediæval communes, and criticism remains silent before this stirring picture of the attempt made by some of the most important French towns to throw off the feudal yoke.

The life of M. Augustin Thierry was that of a scholar, and offers, therefore, none of those incidents which mark the career of the soldier or the statesman;

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