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Reflections on the Revolution in France information


Reflections on the Revolution in France
BurkeReflections.jpg
AuthorEdmund Burke
CountryGreat Britain
GenrePolitical theory
PublisherJames Dodsley, Pall Mall, London
Publication date
November 1790
Media typePamphlet
OCLC49294790
Dewey Decimal
944.04
LC ClassDC150.B9
TextReflections on the Revolution in France at Wikisource

Revolution in France[a] is a political pamphlet written by the Irish statesman Edmund Burke and published in November 1790. It is fundamentally a contrast of the French Revolution to that time with the unwritten British Constitution and, to a significant degree, an argument with British supporters and interpreters of the events in France. One of the best-known intellectual attacks against the French Revolution,[1] Reflections is a defining tract of modern conservatism as well as an important contribution to international theory. The Norton Anthology of English Literature describes Reflections as becoming the "most eloquent statement of British conservatism favoring monarchy, aristocracy, property, hereditary succession, and the wisdom of the ages."[2] Above all else, it has been one of the defining efforts of Edmund Burke's transformation of "traditionalism into a self-conscious and fully conceived political philosophy of conservatism".[3]

The pamphlet has not been easy to classify. Before seeing this work as a pamphlet, Burke wrote in the mode of a letter, invoking expectations of openness and selectivity that added a layer of meaning.[4] Academics have had trouble identifying whether Burke, or his tract, can best be understood as "a realist or an idealist, Rationalist or a Revolutionist".[5] Thanks to its thoroughness, rhetorical skill and literary power, it has become one of the most widely known of Burke's writings and a classic text in political theory.[6] In the 20th century, it influenced a number of conservative intellectuals, who recast Burke's Whiggish arguments as a critique of Bolshevik programmes.


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  1. ^ Burke, Edmund (1790). Reflections on the Revolution in France, And on the Proceedings in Certain Societies in London Relative to that Event. In a Letter Intended to Have Been Sent to a Gentleman in Paris (1 ed.). London: J.Dodsley in Pall Mall. Retrieved 1 July 2015. via Gallica
  2. ^ Greenblatt, Stephen (2012). The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Romantic Period. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. p. 187. ISBN 978-0-39391252-4.
  3. ^ Mazlish 1958, p. 21
  4. ^ Brant, Clare (2006). Eighteenth-Century Letters and British Culture. London: Palgrave, Inc. p. 13. ISBN 978-1-4039-9482-0.
  5. ^ Armitage 2000, p. 619
  6. ^ Bruyn 2001, p. 577

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