Reflections on the Revolution in France
Read by Matt Addis
Written in the form of a letter to a Frenchman, Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France is an impassioned attack on the French Revolution and its hasty destruction of the Church, the old elites and the Crown. Burke tackles the new republic and its allegiance to principles such as liberty and equality, as well as its failure to recognise the complexities of human nature, society, and wisdom accumulated over time, contending that gradual change and adjustment is far better than immediate upheaval. Burke’s treatise later became the target of Thomas Paine’s own reflections on the French Revolution in Rights of Man, a devastating work that predicted more revolutions to come.
Running Time: 10 h 18 m
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Digital ISBN: 978-1-78198-322-5 Cat. no.: NA0462 Produced by: Chocolate Fox Audiobooks Edited by: Chocolate Fox Audiobooks BISAC: HIS000000, POL000000 BIC: HBTV, HBTV2 Released: August 2020
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Burke’s scathing early attack on the French Revolution, and on the British who admired it, is a long essay cum rant published in 1790, a complex polemic taking in politics, economics and history. Matt Addis narrates in a slightly sharp-edged voice that is highly articulate and clear and that gives fitting aural shape to Burke’s sometimes complicated sentences. Addis’s careful weighing of words and phrases helps make them clear as can be, but listeners may still have trouble getting the sense of every 18th-century turn of phrase; a slightly slower pace might have helped. His tone is urbane and polished, but more emotion – anger, sarcasm, scorn – might occasionally have better fit Burke’s language. Still, this is a remarkably intelligent, flawlessly accurate performance of a demanding text, a real tour de force.