Richard Cobb (1917–1996)

Author of Paris and Elsewhere

Includes the names: Richard Cobb, Richard Charles Cobb, Editor Richard. David Gilmour Cobb

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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
British historian Richard Cobb was one of the 20th century’s best known historians of modern France. Born in England during World War I, Cobb spent a gap year in France before commencing studies at Oxford. He fell in love with France and lived there extensively, in between academic tenures in England. Like the socialist historians who prevailed in the mid 1900s, Cobb looked at revolutionary events and conditions ‘from below’. His approach, however, was not shaped or limited by Marxist ideology. Cobb was broadly sympathetic to the work of Marxist historians but refused to be constrained by them, preferring to find his own answers. Cobb was a meticulous researcher who turned up interesting and difficult to find sources. He used these sources to ascertain the motives, incentives and actions of ordinary French people. Cobb’s first significant work, The People’s Armies, examined the  composition, actions and influence of the sans culottes militias of 1793. Later works explored the political and social dimensions of the revolution.

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