Who was George Rudé?

George Rudé was a prolific researcher and writer who spent ten years teaching in Australia.  Although he began his academic career only at the age of fifty, he wrote some 15 books and edited several others. He was one of the leading practitioners of ‘history from below’ and his work – particularly The Crowd in the French Revolution (1959) – influenced an entire generation of historians of the French Revolution. He was an excellent teacher and supervisor, well liked and respected by his colleagues. In honour of his contribution to French history, in 1978 his many Australian students and friends established the George Rudé Seminar. He was able to attend several of them before his death in 1993. The Seminar continues to be held every two years.

The Crowd in the French RevolutionRudé was born in Oslo in 1910. In 1919 his family moved to England (where he added the accent to his original Norwegian surname, Rude). He completed a degree in modern languages at Cambridge in 1931 and became a language teacher, first at Stowe and later at St Paul’s School in London. In 1932 he visited the Soviet Union and became a committed communist and anti-fascist. From 1935 to 1959 he was an active member of the British Communist Party, serving on committees and collecting funds for unemployed workers. He was once arrested during an anti-fascist demonstration. During World War II Rudé worked with the London fire service and pursued a part-time degree in history at London University.

In 1956, he was awarded the Royal Historical Society’s Alexander Prize for his article “The Gordon Riots: A Study of the Rioters and Their Victims.” He then undertook research on wage-earners in the French Revolution, in the course of which he became close to Georges Lefebvre and Albert Soboul. Still teaching part-time, he completed his Ph.D. (London) in 1950. Frozen out of British universities by the climate of the Cold War, he left England (and the Communist Party) for Australia in 1960 to teach first at the University of Adelaide and then at Flinders University (both in South Australia). In 1970, he moved to Canada and taught history at Sir George Williams University and, following its 1974 merger with Loyola College to form Concordia University, at Concordia until his retirement in 1987. In Montreal, he founded the Inter-university Centre for European Studies and was named professor emeritus in 1988. He held visiting professorships in Tokyo, New York, and Virginia.

  • “La composition sociale des insurrections parisiennes de 1789 à 1791.” Annales historiques de la Revolution française 127 (juillet-août 1952): 256–88. [JSTOR]
  • “Les émeutes des 25, 26 février 1793 à Paris.” Annales historiques de la Révolution française 130 (janv.-mars 1953): 46–61. [JSTOR]
  • “The Motives of Popular Insurrection in Paris during the French Revolution.” Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research 26 (1953): 53–74. [Wiley]
  • “14 July 1789: The Fall of the Bastille.” History Today 4 (July 1954): 448–47.
  • [with A. Soboul] “Le maximum des salaires parisiens et le neuf thermidor.” Annales historiques de la Révolution française 134 (janv.-mars 1954): 1–22. [JSTOR]
  • “Prices, Wages and Popular Movements in Paris during the French Revolution.” Economic History Review 6 (1954): 246–67. [Wiley]
  • [with R. Cobb] “Le dernier mouvement populaire de la révolution Paris, les journées de germinal et de prairial an III.” Revue historique 214 (1955): 250–81. [JSTOR]
  • “The Gordon Riots, 1780.” History Today 7 (July 1955): 429–37.
  • “The Outbreak of the French Revolution.” Past and Present 8 (November 1955): 28–42. [JSTOR]
  • “I ‘Tumulti di Gordon’ (1790).” Movimento Operaio (Milano) (1955): 833–53.
  • “The Gordon Riots: A Study of the Rioters and their Victims.” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society (ser. 5) 6 (1956): 93–114.
  • “Note sur les manuscrits de Bertrand de Moleville conservés au British Museum.” Annales historiques de la Révolution française 142 (janv.-mars 1956): 48–56.
  • “Some Financial and Military Aspects of the Gordon Riots.” The Guildhall Miscellany 6 (February 1956): 31–42.
  • “La taxation populaire de mai 1775 à Paris et dans la région parisienne.” Annales historiques de la Révolution française 143 (avril-juin 1956): 139–79.
  • “Wilkes and Liberty, 1768–69.” The Guildhall Miscellany 8 (July 1957): 3–24.
  • “The Common History Syllabus in the Comprehensive School.” In New Trends in English Education: a Symposium, pp. 151–8. Edited by Brian Simon. London, 1957.
  • “Wilkes and Liberty.” History Today 7 (1957): 571-579.
  • “Robespierre.” History Today 8(1958): 221-229.
  • “Die Arbeiter und die Revolutionsregierung.” In Maximilien Robespierre, 1758–94, pp. 301–22. Edited by W. Markov. Berlin, 1958.
  • The Crowd in the French Revolution. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959, 267 pp.; Oxford University Press, 1967; reprint ed., London: Oxford University Press, 1972. [Also published in German (Munich and Vienna: Oldenbourg, 1961); Japanese (Tokyo: Mineruba shobô, 1963); and French (Paris: Maspéro, 1972).]
  • “The London ‘Mob’ of the Eighteenth Century.” Historical Journal 2 (1959): 1–18.
  • “‘Mother Gin’ and the London Riots of 1736.” The Guildhall Miscellany 10 (September 1959): 53–63.
  • “Les sans-culottes parisiens et les journées de vendémiaire an IV.” Annales historiques de la Révolution française 158 (oct.-déc. 1959): 332–46.
  • “The Study of Eighteenth-Century Popular Movements.” The Amateur Historian 4 (Winter 1959–60): 235–41.
  • “Georges Lefebvre et l’étude des journées populaires de la révolution française.” Annales historiques de la Revolution française 160 (avril-juin 1960): 154–62.
  • “The Middlesex Electors of 1768–1769.” English Historical Review 75 (October 1960): 601–17.
  • Interpretations of the French Revolution. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul for the Historical Association (General Series, no. 47), 1961, 32 pp.; reprint ed., Cox and Wyman, 1967.
  • “La taxation populaire de mai 1775 en Picardie, en Normandie et dans le Beauvaisis.” Annales historiques de la Révolution française 165 (juillet-sept. 1961): 305–26.
  • “John Wilkes and the Re-birth of British Radicalism.” Political Science 14 (September 1962): 11–29.
  • “John Wilkes and the Middlesex Election.” History Today 11(1961): 128-135
  • [with S. Lotté, A. Soboul and J. Zacker] “Quelques réflexions sur la composition, le rôle, les idées et les formes d’action des sans-culottes dans la révolution française In “I Sanculotti: una discussione tra storici marxisti.” Critica storica (Rome) 1, no. 4 (1962): 369–98. [Also published in German, “Einige Überlegungen über die Zusammensetzung, Rolle, Ideen und Aktionsformen der Sansculotten.” Die Debatte um de Französische Revolution (1975): 205-215].
  • Wilkes and Liberty: A Social Study of 1763 to 1774. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962, 240 pp.; reprint ed., London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1982.
  • “The Study of Popular Disturbances in the ‘Pre-Industrial’ Age.” Historical Studies, Australia and New Zealand (Melbourne) 9 (May 1963): 457–69.
  • “‘Captain Swing’ and Van Diemen’s Land.” Tasmanian Historical Research Association: Papers and Proceedings (Australia) 12 (1964): 14–21.
  • The Crowd in History. A Study of Popular Disturbances in France and England, 1730–1848. New York: Wiley, 1964, 281 pp.; reprint ed., London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1981. [Also published in Spanish (Buenos Aires: Siglo XXI, Argentina Editores, 1971; Madrid: Siglo XXI de España, 1978), German (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 1977), Japanese (Tokyo: Tuttle-Mori, 1982), Italian (Rome: Riuniti, 1984) and Russian (Moscow: Progress, 1984).]
  • Revolutionary Europe, 1783–1815. London: Collins, 1964, 350 pp.; Meridian Books, 1964; reprint ed., New York: Harper and Row, 1966; Collins (Fontana), 1967; Colophon Books, 1975. [Also published in Swedish (Stockholm: Aldus Bonnier, 1967) and Spanish (Madrid: Siglo XXI de España, 1974).]

Revolutionary Europe

  • “The Anti-Wilkite Merchants of 1769.” The Guildhall Miscellany 2 (September 1965): 283–304.
  • “The Bread Riots of May 1775 in Paris and the Paris Region.” In New Perspectives on the French Revolution: Readings in Historical Sociology, pp. 191–210. Edited by J. Kaplow. New York: Wiley, 1965.
  • “‘Captain Swing’ in New South Wales.” Historical Studies. Australia and New Zealand (Melbourne) 11 (April 1965): 467–80.
  • [ed.] The Eighteenth Century, 1715–1815. New York: Free Press, 1965, 248 pp.; London: Collins-Macmillan, 1965.
  • “‘Feudalism’ and the French Revolution.” The Monash Historical Review (Australia) 1 (1965–66): 15–21.
  • “The Outbreak of the French Revolution.” In New Cambridge Modern History 8, pp. 653–79. Edited by A. Goodwin. Cambridge: The University Press, 1965.
  • “Collusion and Convergence in Eighteenth-Century British Political Action.” Government and Opposition 1 (1966): 511–28.
  • “Robespierre vu par les historiens anglais.” In Actes du Colloque Robespierre, pp. 215–24. Paris: Société des Études Robespierristes, 1966.
  • “English Rural and Urban Disturbances on the Eve of the First Reform Bill, 1830–31.” Past and Present 37 (July 1967): 87-102.
  • “La population ouvrière parisienne de 1789-1791.” Annales historiques de la Révolution française 187 (1967): 15-33.
  • “The Mass Portrait Gallery.” The Listener 16 (March 1967): 349–51.
  • “La population ouvrière parisienne de 1789 1791.” Annales historiques de la Révolution française 187 (janv.-mars 1967): 15–33.
  • [ed.] Robespierre. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1967; 182 pp.
  • [with E.J. Hobsbawm] Captain Swing. New York: Pantheon Books, 1968, 384 pp.; London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1969; Penguin Books, 1973; Norton, 1975. [Also published in Spanish (Madrid: Siglo XXI de España, 1978); and Portuguese (Rio de Janeiro: Alves, 1982).]
  • “The Study of Revolutions.” Arena (Melbourne) 15 (1968): 12–29.
  • “The ‘Pre-Industrial’ Crowd.” Flinders Journal of History and Politics (Australia) 1 (1969): 4–18.
  • “Why Was There No Revolution in England in 1830 or 1848?” Studien über die Revolution (Berlin) (1969): 231–44.
  • “The Archivist and the Historian.” Tasmanian Historical Research Association. Papers and Proceedings (Australia) 17 (October 1970): 111–27.
  • “The French Revolution and ‘Participation’.” In A World in Revolution, pp. 15–24. Canberra: Australian National University, 1970.
  • “The Changing Face of the Crowd.” In The Historian’s Workshop. Original Essays by Sixteen Historians, pp. 187–204. Edited by L.P. Curtis, Jr. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1970.
  • Paris and London in the Eighteenth Century: Studies in Popular Protest. London: Collins, 1970, 350 pp.; Viking, 1971. [Also published in Spanish (Barcelona: Ariel, 1978).]

  • “The French Revolution.” In Perspectives on the European Past. Conversations with Historians, pp. 40–61. Edited by Norman F. Cantor. New York: Macmillan, 1971.
  • Hanoverian London, 1714–1808. London: Secker and Warburg, 1971; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971; 271 pp.
  • Debate on Europe, 1815–1850. New York: Harper and Row, 1972, 277 pp.
  • Europe in the Eighteenth Century: Aristocracy and the Bourgeois Challenge. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1972, 291 pp.; New York: Praeger Books, 1973. [Also published in Italian (Bari: Laterza, 1974); German (Munich: Kindler, 1978); and Spanish (Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1978)].

  • “The Growth of Cities and Popular Revolt, 1750–1850.” In French Government and Society, 1500–1800. Edited by J. F. Bosher. London: Athlone, 1973; pp. 166–90.
  • “Paris et Londres au XVIIIe siècle: société et conflits de classes.” Annales historiques de la Révolution française 45(1973): 481-502.
  • “Early Irish Rebels in Australia.” Historical Studies, Australia and New Zealand (Melbourne) 16 (April 1974): 17–35.
  • “Revolution and Popular Ideology.” In France and North America: The Revolutionary Experience, pp. 142–58. Edited by M. Allan and G. R. Conrad. Lafayette, La., 1974.
  • Robespierre: Portrait of a Revolutionary Democrat. London: Collins, 1975; Viking, 1976; 254 pp. [Also published in Italian (Rome: Riuniti, 1979).]
  • “The Two Nations: Industrialization and its Discontents.” In The Long March of Everyman. Edited by Theodore Barker. André Deutsch, 1975: 82–100.
  • “Ideology and Popular Protest.” Historical Reflections/ Réflexions historiques (Waterloo, Ont.) 3 (Winter 1976): 69–77.
  • “The Study of Revolutions.” Historical Papers / Communications historiques: A Selection of the Papers Presented at the Annual Meeting. Canadian Historical Association. (1976): 13–19.
  • “Urbanization and Popular Protest in Eighteenth—Century Western Europe.” Eighteenth Century Life 2 (March 1976): 46–48.
  • “La participation populaire à la révolution française.” Histoire sociale 20 (1977): 277–84.
  • “La section des Champs-Elysées et l’indemnité des quarante sous (ventôse an II).” Annales historiques de la Révolution française 50(1978), no. 232: 277-282.
  • “Popular Protest and Ideology on the Eve of the French Revolution.” Vom Ancien Régime zur Französischen Revolution / De l’ancien régime la Révolution française, Göttingen, 1978): 420–35.
  • Protest and Punishment: The Story of Social and Political Protesters Transported to Australia, 1788–1868. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978; 270 pp.; Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1981.

  • “L’idéologie de la contestation populaire à l’époque pré-industrielle.” Europa: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies/Revue d’Études Interdisciplinaires (Montréal) 3 (1979-80): 7–17.
  • “Revolution and Ideology in Nineteenth-Century France.” Consortium on Revolutionary Europe 1750-1850: Proceedings, 1981: 217-220.
  • Ideology and Popular Protest. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1980, 176 pp.; Pantheon Books, 1980. [Also published in Spanish (Barcelona: Editorial Critica, 1981); Portuguese (Rio de Janeiro: Zahar, 1982); Japanese (Tokyo: Tuttle-Mon, 1984); and Russian (Moscow: Progress, 1984).]
  • “The ‘Poverty of Theory’ Debate” (review-article). In Saothair [Ireland] 7 (1981): 62–8.
  • “Les Débuts d’une idéologie révolutionnaire dans le petit peuple urbain en 1789.” In Die Französische Revolution—Zufälliges oder notwendiges Ereignis? (Akten des Internationalen Symposiums an der Universität Bamberg vom 4-7 juni 1979), pp. 29–39. Edited by E. Schmitt and R. Reichardt. Munich-Vienna, 1983.
  • Criminal and Victim: Crime and Society in Early Nineteenth-Century England. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.
  • The Face of the Crowd: Studies in Revolution, Ideology, and Popular Protest. Edited by Harvey J. Kaye. Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Pr. Int., 1988.
  • The French Revolution. New York : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988.