By Archibald Alison
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2011
Online Publication Date:September 2011
Original Publication Year:1835
Subjects: European history after 1450 , Diplomatic and international history
Archibald Alison (1792–1867) was a Scottish historian with a particular interest in the French Revolution. He wrote from a deeply conservative standpoint and was a fierce opponent of the 1832 Reform Act. Although mocked by Disraeli in Coningsby as 'Mr Wordy', he wrote works which became bestsellers in the nineteenth century. This ten-volume History of Europe during the French Revolution, published between 1833 and 1842, regarded the French Revolution as the origin of all that was wrong with modern Europe. Alison feared that while Britain had escaped revolution in 1789, democratic reform could still lead to anarchy, as in the French July Revolution of 1830. Although criticised by Acton and J. S. Mill for his methodology, Alison has more recently been studied by scholars for insights into nineteenth-century historiography. Volume 3 covers the campaigns of 1796–1799 in Italy, Germany and Egypt, and Napoleon's coup d'etat.