Romanticism and the French Revolution. French Revolution begins with storming of Bastille, the great prison in Paris, on July 14, 1789. This event and the French Revolution as a whole had a tremendous impact on England. Storming the Bastille. British Reaction to the French Revolution.
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Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790.
“These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
The revolution fed hopes that along with tyranny, poverty and all human misery would be abolished.
Helen Maria Williams
Williams, a fervent supporter of the French Revolution, settled permanently in France in 1792 and witnessed many of the events associated with the revolution, including the execution of the King, Louis XVI.
Letters from France
Execution of Louis XVI
A radical like Williams could justify the violence of the revolution, at least until Napoleon crowned himself emperor in 1804. She wrote:
Napoleon Crowns Himself Emperor of France, 1804
Image from a BBC production based on Bernard Cornwell’s novels about Richard Sharp, a common soldier who rises to become an officer during the Napoleonic wars. The show’s theme song was taken from an actual song of the period, “Over the Hills and Far Away.”