ONLINE INTRODUCTION TO
LEGENDS OF THE BASTILLE
By Frantz Funck-Brentano
Texans are not the only ones who muck with history, destroying its value. America as a whole has done a pretty good job of sanitizing a whole bunch of our history. Propaganda disguised as history is a very ancient custom. Here, in Legends of the Bastille, is an attempt by a Frenchmen to correct some of the evils of his own country's pseudo-patriotic historians. Along the way Monsieur Funck-Brentano throws in stuff that everybody can enjoy. It is pleasant, and curious, and startling, and very often amusing reading.
Dear Frantz wrote well enough that these chapters were published individually in popular journals, on both sides of “The Pond,” before he collected them for this book. He did this to make sure that his writing would be both accurate and enjoyable reading. Not a lot of historians can say that, which is why revisionist historians, who often scandalize to popularize their undocumented versions, often win out over dryer but accurate and balanced scholars. (It also really helps when the school system runs on government money to make sure that history reflects the government's view nicely and tidily.)
Okay, no more spieling. In this book you will meet some great characters, good and bad, that chasséed across the stage of French history. Latude is one of them. He is one of the greatest scalawags of all times, but he does have his moments of sheer likeability, no matter how hard F-B. tries to make him a cretin.
Of course the Man with the Iron Mask makes his appearance, too, and his identity is determined, "once and for all." Plus other uncommon and entertaining bits and pieces.
The final chapter is the main reason why this book should be read. The truth about the fall of the Bastille shows what a tragic day that was. This is a hard, sad chapter to read. Any true patriot needs to know all sides of an event in order to learn the proper messages from the past. The French, and anybody who teaches this part of French history, should know this side of that day, along with the touted version that is not only fabulous but false and unfair.
So. . . Click and go!