This morning I read an article about the peasant massacre in the Vendee region of France during the French Revolution. It said that "the Vendée, a coastal department in western France, is calling for the incident to be remembered as the first genocide in modern history."
While I agree that the massacre was a genocide, the article bothers me because it doesn't tell the true cause of the struggle. I sent a link to Elena Maria Vidal at Tea at Trianon because she is a Catholic author/expert on the French Revolution. Her response is here.
My first introduction to the story of the Vendean Catholics was through Warren Carroll's The Guillotine and the Cross. It is one of the few books that I started but never finished. I couldn't finish it because it depressed me. I recognized too many parallels between the policies of the French Revolutionaries and the policies of the 21st century US government. Instead, I read Elena Maria Vidal's Trianon. I learned a great deal about the French Revolution from it and came away with a new respect for Catholic monarchy in general and Marie Antoinette in particular. I got Emma the sequel to Trianon, Madame Royale, for Christmas. I will read it as soon as she is finished.
The Tea at Trianon blog has been an incredible education for both of us. We read it daily. There is no charge for the wealth of information you will find there, but you can help support the site: Order Trianon and Madame Royale directly and pay a little extra to get them autographed.
For two book recommendations and more information on the uprising in the Vendee: The Heart of Darkness: How Visceral Hatred of Catholicism Turns Into Genocide by Anne Barbeau Gardiner.