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Francis Leary

Author

Robespierre: the Meaning of Virtue

During the winter of 1788, France was gripped by an economic crisis. The failure of the harvest and consequent hoarding had doubled the price of bread, while wages fell as industry was disrupted. Riots broke out, chateaux were plundered and burned. [...]

Beau Law and Mississippi High-Rollers

New Orleans, America's most colorful city, was founded by one of history's most colorful characters. Known over much of its past for pleasure-seeking and a gaudy carnival, for gambling, duels, and pursuit of fair women, New Orleans embodied many [...]

“Tayo! Tayo!” in Nouvelle-Cythère

In the 18th century, the Age of Enlightenment, they believed in a pristine golden time when man in his natural state, uncorrupted by civilization, was innocent and good. Jean-Jacques Rousseau's "noble savage" was the ideal. Such a creature could b [...]

“The Wickedest Woman”

O my lords! I did but deceive your eyes with antic gesture, when one news straight came huddling on another of death and death and death, Still I danced forward. She was called "the wickedest woman in the world" by one of her doomed lover [...]