Comte de Purchase
- Jun 28, 2007
Lords of France, Part Two: Politics After Revolution
(apologies in advance for the self indulgent introduction)
This AAR covers a topic which is perhaps the most controversial in history. The French Revolution; the events which led to it, the events which occurred during it, and what came after, has been the source of both academic and real world schisms for over two hundred years. It is (I would say accurately) regarded as the beginning of the modern era in Europe. Within it were contained the whole of modern political struggles and tendencies: left and right, nationalism and internationalism, the beginnings of the administrative state and of industrial capitalism, and the beginnings of opposition to these forces. Conservatism, Liberalism, Socialism, all originate in the Revolution, the reactions to it, and the writings after the fact.
But what if it had been different?
When I began Lords of France, I thought that I would write a single narrative spanning the history of France up to the Revolution. The intent was to recreate my game as closely as possible while remaining true to history (which I would say is the mission of any historybook writer). My second (perhaps foolish) attempt was to finish Lords of France within a single summer. This went out the window when my game crashed in the fall of 2012, and (given the amount of unexpected free time I had as a graduate student) my mission with Lords of France began to change. Rather than recreating my game, I instead aimed to realistically write what I think would happen next from the events given to me. LoF started featuring historical figures in radically different roles (Machiavelli as senator and uniter of Italy, Montaigne as anti-Bourbon radical, Richelieu as one of the founding fathers of Quebec).
This led to the adoption of separate Point of View characters, because history rarely has a singular viewpoint. The sections of Lords of France are written by discrete characters with their own views on things, and while they may give a glimpse of ‘real events’, most of these writers are fully enmeshed in the times in which they are writing, and see events in the context of their own times.
The research and work that I have put into this AAR has been genuinely transformative, the assumptions that I held when I went into the AAR, about the state, about politics during the feudal period and politics now, about the analysis of history as a whole, have changed as a result of writing this. It’s been very important to me, and I would like to thank all of the people who kept reading it for years.
Alright so enough with the self indulgence! I will post the first update (on the state of the world in 1685) within the next couple of days.
Lords of France
Chapter One: The World In 1685