In her lengthy study, Valérie Sottocasa, professor of history at the University of Toulouse, explores the theme of violence, most notably banditry, in the Midi from 1787 to 1802. Her theme is particularly well chosen, for violence in its multiple forms whether individual or collective, political or religious or criminal, was exceptionally widespread and persistent in the Southern departments from the opening years of the Revolution throughout the rest of the decade and beyond. Yet, her work in so many respects is disappointing and contains many errors of fact and interpretation.

Sottocasa sets out to examine the causes, nature and consequences of this endemic banditry within the context of Southern violence, tracing its various manifestations by a systematic use of chiefly political...

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