CANCELLED - Join us for a conversation with two of the country's leading historical writers as they discuss the impact and legacy of The Paris Commune and its leading figure, Adrian Lejeune.
In 1871, Adrien Lejeune fought on the barricades of the Paris Commune. He was imprisoned for treason when the Commune fell and narrowly avoided execution for his role in the struggle for a new future. In later life, he immigrated to Soviet Russia, finding fame as a revolutionary icon. Having led a long and extraordinary life, he died in Siberia in 1942 while fleeing Moscow as the Nazi armies swept across western Russia. It was another thirty years before he returned to Paris, his ashes coming to rest in the Communards’ plot of the Père Lachaise cemetery, on the centennial of the uprising, a symbol of France’s undying radical tradition.
In The Last Communard, writer and translator Gavin Bowd offers a stunning narrative on how an individual can be swept up in the fierce tides of history, and at the same time be defined by his own efforts to force those tides into a different, and better, course. Lejeune’s life captures war and revolution in a tumultuous period of European history.
At this event Gavin Bowd will be joined by Ruth Scurr, acclaimed historian and author of the 2015 Costa Shortlisted John Aubrey: My Life as twell as the biography of Robespierre, Fatal Purity. Together they'll be discussing Lejeune's extraordinary life and their own unique approaches to historical fiction.
Venue: The Auditorium at Foyles, Level 6, 107 Charing Cross Road
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