Par Yiping Sun, Department of History and Culture, Shandong University, China

When they hear that I study the French Revolution, almost every friend in France asks me the same question: why did you choose that subject ? I always feel I should say that it is because of my love for French culture, but in fact this was not true at the beginning of my studies. As it happened I had no choice, since my Tutor at that time was a French Revolution specialist and I attended several of his courses such as The History of the French Revolution, Modern World History, and The Enlightenment Movement. All my friends and colleagues liked discussing the French Revolution and, as time went by, I began to like it too, so really, I did not choose the French Revolution, on the contrary, it was the French Revolution which chose me.

However the more I studied it, the more reasons I discovered to make me continue, so that now it is no exaggeration to say that I am perhaps more favourably inclined to the French Revolution than many French people. The history of the French Revolution is so profound, French culture is so rich and colourful, the French language is so beautiful that I think I will never become tired of my field. There are also so many ideological similarities between French and Chinese culture, especially the mutual sharp dualism, as a result of the idealism to change a society, so that to understand your culture is to understand my own better, and this type of research is a permanent joy to me! As a Chinese researcher, I am here today to give you an overview of the state of research on the French Revolution in China, mainly in the past 10 years.

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