The Gods Are Athirst by Anatole France


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John Lane & Bodley Head, 1933. Reprint of first illustrated edition. Translated by Alfred Allinson, also as; The Gods Will Have Blood. Illustrated by John Austen. Includes 12 coloured plates.

'The Gods Will Have Blood" was published in 1912, and author Anatole France received the Nobel Prize for Literature in honour of his literary achievements. The story follows the young Parisian painter Évariste Gamelin, who rises speedily from his humble beginnings to a member of the Revolutionary Tribunal in the second and third year of the French Revolution. In brilliant prose, Anatole France describes how Évariste's idealism turns into fanaticism, and he allows more and more heads to roll and blood to flow, placing himself and those he loves into ever greater danger.

The story of the French Revolution which pictures the extraordinary 'Paris of the Terror.' Evariste attends the nightly meetings of the Jacobin Club and absorbs the lofty abstractions and inquisitorial casuistry of his idol. He is made a member of the Revolutionary Tribune and becomes a veritable priest of the guillotine, ministering to the blood-thirsty gods.'