On 14 July 1789, the prison of Bastille was stormed by revolutionaries. With the fall of the Bastille, the French Revolution had begun, which would eventually culminate in the bloody toppling of a regime which had existed for nearly 800 years. This day is celebrated across France as “le quatorze juillet,” the first milestone along the road to the French Republic. In English-speaking countries, it is called “Bastille Day.”
In honor of Bastille Day, we’ve put together a reading list of chapters and extracts on topics, such as the Reign of Terror, Marie-Antoinette, the Marquis de Sade, and the reasons behind the French Revolution, from University Press Scholarship Online and Very Short Introductions.
Image: The Storming of the Bastille by Jean-Pierre Houël (1735-1813). Bibliothèque nationale de France. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.