Sotheby’s Auction to Highlight Robespierre’s Revolutionary Writings

A collection of previously unknown working papers written by French revolutionary Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre leads Wednesday’s sale. They include rough drafts of speeches, articles and letters that reveal the thoughts of a man who largely dominated France’s ruling Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror (1793-94). His supporters honored Robespierre as incorruptible, while his opponents saw him as a bloodthirsty dictator. The purpose of the Reign of Terror was to purge those seen as enemies of the revolution. Masses of people were labeled as internal enemies of France and sent to the guillotine. Eventually, Robespierre went too far; and the Reign of Terror ended with his arrest and execution.

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