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A Place of Greater Safety

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In the year 1770, when Camille was ten years old, the priests advised his father to remove him from the school, since they were unable to give him the attention his progress merited. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average.

The place of greater safety of the title turns out to be the grave, as someone says toward the end of the novel. Jean-Nicolas exacted all this from her; on top of it, he wanted her to pay attention to his feelings.

Mantel’s view of the Revolution, it seems, is that the events were stronger than any one character, and that her three protagonists began with good intentions, but were overtaken by events. He made her think of his mother, sometimes; he had those sea-colored eyes that seemed to trap and hold the light.

He was Jean Recordain, a merchant from the town; he was a widower, with one (quiet) boy to bring up. Here is what Rousseau says:The oldest of all societies, and the only natural one, is that of the family, yet children remain tied to their father by nature only as long as they need him for their preservation . The present tense passages might be meant to give more of a sense of immediacy, even though I see that in some of the past tense passages as well. We have casual talk of murders and loss of life, the immorality of the situation of a country besieged from all sides and almost bankrupt, generals being replaced at breathtaking pace and a lack of clear predefined plans. The only slight downside to the book, but bear in mind this is completely down to personal taste, was that at times I felt that as a reader, one had to pay very close attention to Mantel's writing to fully understand her inferences, making it a book best read when fully awake, and not, perhaps the best choice for a relaxing evening read.

My first book was pure wish fulfilment, about a girl who became a dancer, and with the recent publication of a ballet trilogy – Born to Dance, Star Quality and Showtime – I seem to have come full circle. He arranged about the care of the doves with a neighbor's daughter, a little girl slightly older than himself.

His father crosses the room and scoops him up, prizing his fingers away from the window frame to which he clings. In fact, the first half of the book can be hard to get a hold of: we're introduced to Camille Desmoulins, Maximilien Robespierre and George-Jacques Danton along with a proverbial cast of thousands but they rarely talk politics until suddenly the Bastille is being attacked. In a few years' time, young hopefuls at the Guise Bar would ask him, why have you been content with such a confined stage for your undoubted talents, Monsieur? Events get out of control, though, and the people carrying out the massacres ignore the lists, or they trick people by promising to let them go and then killing them as soon as they are outside the prison walls.She was in the kitchen now eating cheese, scraping the rind with relish, frightening the servant-girl with precedents. An extraordinary and overwhelming novel…immensely detailed and yet fast-moving…she has set herself to capture the excitement and intellectual fervour of the period. The narrative focuses on three men who are central to the Revolution: the hard-headed pragmatist, Georges-Jacques Danton; the passionate rabble-rouser, Camille Desmoulins and the fanatic ideologue, Maximilien Robespierre. I dreamt of a republic which all the world would have adored; I could never have believed that men could be so ferocious and so unjust. The tragedy was that the revolution was based on the dangerous ideal that flawed human beings can create a perfect society by destroying everything that came before, and "building back better".

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