Over the last forty years a once-dominant interpretation of the French revolution has fallen to pieces. Elaborated by generations of distinguished left-wing French historians, this classic version was gradually undermined by the piecemeal criticisms of English-speaking scholars. Many of their doubts, and the controversies which they provoked, appeared in articles scattered over a wide range of learned journals and conference proceedings. This collection brings together the more important contributions of one of the leading British participants in these debates. Some of the essays explore the motivations and achievements of the old monarchy's aristocratic opponents. Others probe the development of venality of offices, one of the old regime's most distinctive institutions. A wide range of revolutionary reforms, their motivations and results, are also examined, and some of the achievements of a generation of revisionism in this field are reviewed. The introduction sets them in the context of the debates to which they contributed, and demonstrates their continued relevance to our understanding of eighteenth-century France.