Richard Cobb, the eminent historian of the French Revolution, had an affinity with France that went far beyond academic interest. Living there in the years after the Second World War, he felt a second identity as a Frenchman. But his was not the ...
France best known to visitors. He was drawn not to the romantic or the beautiful but to their opposites--to the banal, the ordinary, the unheroic, to people and their routines, to railway stations, mills, and back-to-back row houses. He showed no interest in the rich or aristocratic, but moved among the eccentric bourgeoisie and the criminal or anarchic working class. In these writings, collected here for the first time, the France Cobb describes was beginning to disappear long before his death in1996. The picture presented is, as a result, elegiac, unique, and unforgettable. David Gilmour, who also edited Richard Cobb's The French and Their Revolution, was a student of Cobb's at Oxford. He is an award winning biographer and historian.